Immunocytochemical localization of growth factors and their receptors in human pre-embryos and Fallopian tubes

David B. Smotrich, Robert J. Stillman, Eric A. Widra, Paul R. Gindoff, Paul Kaplan, Michael Graubert, Kurt E. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

We utilized indirect immunocytochemistry to demonstrate the presence of growth factors and their receptors in human pre-embryos and Fallopian tubes. In pre-embryos, only transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) and the intracellular domain of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) were found at the 4-cell stage. In 8- to 14-cell pre-embryos, TGF-α, the intracellular and extracellular domains of EGFR, and insulin-like growth factor-I and its receptor were found, Antibodies against TGF-α stained all Fallopian tube specimens, while the extracellular domain of EGFR was only found in specimens from patients with either blood type A or AB. These results suggest a cross-reactivity between the extracellular domain of the EGFR and blood group antigens. Our novel demonstration of growth factor receptor staining in human pre-embryos shows that growth factor receptor localization is dependent on the developmental stage of human pre-embryos. We have also established a potentially important link between the Fallopian tube which secretes growth factors and the localization of growth factor receptors in pre-embryos. These findings are compatible with the hypothesis that tubal secretions are embryotrophic for the early development of the pre-embryo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fallopian tubes
  • Growth factor receptors
  • Human pre-embryos
  • Immunocytochemistry

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