Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E

Accumulation of nerve growth factor and its receptors in the uterus and dorsal root ganglia in a mouse model of adenomyosis.

PMID 21385399


Adenomyosis is a common gynecological disease, which is accompanied by a series of immunological and neuroendocrinological changes. Nerve growth factor (NGF) plays a critical role in producing pain, neural plasticity, immunocyte aggregation and release of inflammatory factors. This study aimed to investigate the expression of NGF and its two receptors in uteri and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in an adenomyosis mouse model, as well as their relationship with the severity of adenomyosis. Forty newborn ICR mice were randomly divided into the adenomyosis model group and control group (n = 20 in each group). Mice in the adenomyosis model group were orally dosed with 2.7 μmol/kg tamoxifen on days 2-5 after birth. Experiments were conducted to identify the expression of NGF- beta and its receptors, tyrosine kinase receptor (trkA) and p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), in the uterus and DRG in four age groups (90+/-5 d, 140+/-5 d, 190+/-5 d and 240+/-5 d; n = 5 mice in each group) by western bolt, immunochemistry and real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Adenomyosis, which became more serious as age increased, was successfully induced in dosed ICR mice. NGF-beta, trkA and p75NTR protein levels in the uterus and trkA mRNA levels in DRG were higher in the older aged adenomyosis model group than those in controls (190+/-5 d and 240+/-5 d groups, P < 0.05). The expression of NGF-beta and its receptors in the uterus increased gradually as age increased for adenomyosis mice (190+/-5 d and 240+/-5 d, P < 0.05, compared with 90+/-5 d) but it showed little change in control mice. The mRNA level of trkA in DRG also increased as age increased in the adenomyosis model group (190+/-5 d and 240+/-5 d, P < 0.05, compared with 90+/-5 d) but was unchanged in controls. The mRNA level of p75NTR in DRG was not different between the adenomyosis and control groups and was stable from young to old mice. NGF- beta can be used as an indicator for the severity of adenomyosis. The gradually increasing level of NGF- beta and its receptors while the disease becomes more severe suggests an effect of NGF- beta on pathogenic mechanisms of adenomyosis.