Proenkephalin A and the γ-aminobutyric acid A receptor π subunit: expression, localization, and dynamic changes in human secretory endometrium

Marisol Quezada, Soledad Henríquez, Macarena Vargas, Hugo Cardenas, Alejandro Tapia, Miguel Rios, Ana M. Salvatierra, Pedro A. Orihuela, Horacio B. Croxatto, Luis Velasquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare mRNA and protein levels of proenkephalin A (PEA) and γ-aminobutyric acid A receptor π subunit (πGABA-R) in human secretory endometrium before and during receptivity and to determine the cell phenotypes where they are expressed. Design: Prospective and observational, comparing prereceptive vs. receptive stages of secretory endometrium within the same nonconceptional menstrual cycle. Setting: University and non-governmental organization (NGO)-based academic and clinical-research facilities. Patient(s): Seven healthy, multiparous, surgically sterilized women with spontaneous regular menstrual cycles. Intervention(s): Endometrial biopsies were obtained on LH+3 and LH+7 within the same cycle. Main Outcome Measure(s): Levels of PEA and πGABA-R mRNA were determined by real-time PCR, and protein presence, by immunofluorescence. Result(s): The mRNA level of PEA fell, whereas that of πGABA-R increased, during endometrial receptivity. Positive immunostaining of PEA was found in the luminal and glandular epithelium, whereas that of πGABA-R was in luminal epithelium and stromal cells. Conclusion(s): The discrete cell-phenotype localization and timing of the changes in the level of PEA and of πGABA-R mRNA and protein suggest an important role for these molecules in switching the human endometrium from a refractory to a receptive state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1750-1757
Number of pages8
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Secretory endometrium
  • endometrial receptivity
  • gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor π subunit
  • gene expression
  • immunohistochemistry
  • implantation
  • proenkephalin A
  • real-time PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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