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Effect of sex steroids on human microvascular endothelial cells (HUMEC), isolated from myometrium

Angiogenesis, the production of new blood vessels from pre-existing endothelium is subject to a complex control system with proangiogenic and antiangiogenic factors. This process is an important factor in several pathological processes such as tumor growth, diabetic retinopathy, psoriasis as well as endometriosis.

Our project aims to investigate, whether endothelial aromatase is an autocrine inducer of human utherine microvascular endothelial cell proliferation. HUMEC as model for small vessels to compare basal and testosterone stimulated expression of aromatase, local estradiol production and to reveal its potential implications on cell proliferation are used. In addition to the testosterone associated autocrine estradiol production and action in vascular cells, testosterone may directly take place in the regulation of microvacularization via its cognate receptor. However, no information is available about testosterone effects on HUMEC from female reproductive tract. Therefore, we will examine the direct effects of the hormone on HUMEC cell proliferation.

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