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The effect of a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system on angiogenic growth factors in the endometrium



The effect of a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system on angiogenic growth factors in the endometrium



Human Reproduction 18(9): 1809-1819



BACKGROUND: The study aim was to investigate the effects of a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) on the secretion profiles and level of mRNA transcripts for angiogenic growth factors including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and endothelial growth factor (EGF) in the endometrium, and their levels in plasma. METHODS: Blood and endometrial samples were collected from 15 women using LNG-IUS at pre-insertion and at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months following the use of contraception. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and semi-quantitative reverse transcription techniques, angiogenic growth factors were measured in the plasma and endometrial tissue extracts. RESULTS: A significant increase in endometrial tissue levels of VEGF at 3 and 6 months (P<0.007, P<0.01), TGF-beta1 at 6 and 12 months (P<0.002, P<0.007) and bFGF at 1 and 6 months (P<0.004, P<0.008) respectively were observed following insertion of LNG-IUS. A corresponding increase in mRNA expression of TGF-beta1 and bFGF were also observed. The LNG-IUS had no effect on endometrial EGF levels. No significant differences were noted in plasma levels of bFGF, EGF and TGF-beta1, while VEGF was not detectable in all plasma samples assayed. A positive correlation was observed between endometrial tissue VEGF and bleeding/spotting days in the reference period (r=0.705, P<0.015). CONCLUSION: These results provide the first evidence that more than one angiogenic factor could be implicated in aberrant endometrial angiogenesis resulting in breakthrough bleeding in LNG-IUS acceptors.

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Accession: 011491861

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PMID: 12923132

DOI: 10.1093/humrep/deg329


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