Differential distribution of ERα and ERβ mRNA in intrauterine tissues of the pregnant rhesus monkey

Wen Xuan Wu, Xiao Hong Ma, Gordon C.S. Smith, Peter W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Two estrogen receptor (ER) isoforms, ERα and ERβ, have been described. However, no information is available in any species regarding the comparison of ERα and ERβ levels in pregnant intrauterine tissues. We investigated 1) distribution of ERα and ERβ mRNA in myometrium, amnion, choriodecidua, and placenta; 2) their abundance in intrauterine tissues at term not in labor (NIL) and in spontaneous term labor (STL); and 3) immunolocalization of ERα and ERβ in pregnant rhesus monkey myometrium. Myometrium, amnion, choriodecidua, and placenta were obtained at cesarean section from monkeys in STL at 156-166 days gestational age (GA) (n = 4) and from control monkeys NIL at 140-152 days GA (n = 4). RT-PCR was conducted to determine ERα and ERβ and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase mRNA abundance in four intrauterine tissues of the pregnant rhesus monkey. The cloned ERβ PCR fragment was subjected to sequence analysis. ERα and ERβ were localized in the myometrium by immunohistochemistry. We demonstrated that 1) rhesus monkey ERβ shares >97% identity with human ERβ in the region sequenced; 2) both ERs were expressed in myometrium, amnion, and choriodecidua but not in placenta in the current study; 3) ERα and ERβ were differentially distributed in myometrium and amnion; 4) ERα and ERβ were immunolocalized in myometrial smooth cells and smooth muscle and endothelial cells of the myometrial blood vessels. The biological significance of these quantitative differences in ER subtypes merits further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C190-C198
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1 47-1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Estrogen receptors α and β
  • Fetal membrane
  • Myometrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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