Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2011 - Volume 18 - Issue 9 > Distribution of cyclooxygenases 1 and 2 in the uterus and br...
doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3182127c9b
Original Articles

Distribution of cyclooxygenases 1 and 2 in the uterus and breast of cynomolgus monkeys-effects of hormone treatment

Zhang, Hua MD, PhD1,2; Schoultz, Bo von MD, PhD3; Cline, J. Mark DVM, PhD4; Sahlin, Lena PhD1

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Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the distribution and immunoreactivity of cyclooxygenase (COX) 1 and COX-2 in normal uterus and breast after long-term hormone therapy in postmenopausal monkeys.

Methods: Female adult cynomolgus macaques were bilaterally ovariectomized 3 months before the initiation of hormone treatment. The animals were either treated (experiment 1) with conjugated equine estrogens (CEE), medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), CEE + MPA, or tamoxifen or designated as controls (C). In experiment 2, the animals were either treated with CEE, CEE + MPA, or tibolone or designated as C. Breast tissue and uteri were collected, fixed, and paraffin embedded. Immunohistochemistry assays for COX-1 and COX-2 were performed.

Results: COX-1 immunostaining was decreased by tamoxifen and CEE treatment in the endometrial stroma and by CEE + MPA in the myometrium. COX-1 immunostaining of the breast epithelia was down-regulated by CEE + MPA, whereas other cell types in the breast seem to be less affected by hormone treatment.

COX-2 immunoreactivity in the endometrial stroma was increased by CEE + MPA. In the glandular epithelium, CEE + MPA and tibolone treatment increased COX-2 immunostaining compared with CEE treatment only and no treatment at all (C). No effect from hormone treatment on COX-2 immunostaining was found in the myometrium. COX-2 immunostaining in the glandular epithelium of the breast was, in experiment 2, increased after CEE treatment compared with no treatment (C). No other effects by hormone therapy on COX-2 expression were found in the breast.

Conclusions: Our results show that COX-1 and COX-2 are differently distributed and regulated by hormones in the normal uterus and breast of ovariectomized macaques. COX-1 is prevailing in the uterus, whereas COX-2 is dominant in the mammary gland.

©2011The North American Menopause Society


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