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Title: Angiogenesis in the reproductive tract during early pregnancy
Author: Rowe, Amanda
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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The first experiment investigated whether there exists a burst of angiogenesis in the corpus luteum of early pregnancy at the time of luteal rescue which may be involved in prolonging its lifespan. Ovaries were collected from non-pregnant animals in the late luteal phase at day 21 after ovulation and from pregnant animals at day 21 and day 28 post ovulation. In vivo luteal angiogenesis was assessed by quantitative immunocytochemistry of 1) Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation, 2) Assessment of the microvascular network by CD31 endothelial cell marker and 3) Pericyte recruitment by smooth muscle α-actin staining. Molecular regulation of angiogenesis was assessed by in situ hybridisation of mRNA for Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and is receptors VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2, followed by image analysis of grain density and grain area. No increase in any cellular or molecular angiogenic parameter was observed in the marmoset corpus luteum during luteal rescue. It was concluded that the vasculature already established by the late luteal phase is all that is required to maintain early pregnancy. At the uterine level, early pregnancy is associated with changes that allow implantation and give rise to an environment capable of supporting early embryonic development. The second experiment aimed at elucidate the angiogenic events occurring during the peri-implantation period and in early pregnancy. Uteri were studied at day 14, 21 and 28 of pregnancy, together with non-pregnant uteri from day 14 and day 21 post-ovulation. Increased angiogenesis was observed in the endometrium at this time. VEGF, VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, Angiopoietin-1, Angiopoietin-2 and Tie-2 mRNA’s were localised by in situ hybridisation. Messenger RNA for VEGF and its receptors increased from the time of implantation throughout pregnancy, as did Angiopoietin-1. Particularly high levels of expression were observed at a focal point immediately adjacent to the implantation site. This work provides evidence that angiogenesis, regulated by VEGF and the angiopoietins, may be involved in the preparation of endometrium for implantation, remodelling of the maternal vasculature during the peri-implantation period and trophoblast invasion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available