Lectin binding in the human endometrium in early luteal phase following controlled ovarian hyperstimulation


  • Gherardo Gheri
  • S. Gheri Bryk
  • G. Taddei
  • P. Borri
  • I. Noci


controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, human endometrium, lectins, sugar residues


A lectin histochemical study was performed to investigate the glycoconjugate saccharidic moieties on the endometrial epithelium and stroma in 12 women undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) for in-vitro fertilisation for embryo transfer (IVF-ET) in early luteal phase. 7 control subjects were also evaluated. For this purpose a battery of seven horseradish peroxidase-conjugated lectins (PNA, SBA, DBA, WGA, ConA, LTA and UEA I) was used. Cytochemical controls were performed for specificity of lectin-sugar reaction. As far as the endometrial glands and stroma are concerned, the obtained data showed no differences in the endometrial lectin binding between the subjects of the control group and the ones undergoing COH, with the exception of PNA reactivity at the level of the apical portion of the glandular cells, which was detected only in COH women. It is noteworthy that, although the endometrial dating using the Noyes's criteria showed marked dissynchronies between the stroma and the glands in COH subjects, a uniformity of lectin binding, revealing the same type and localization of terminal oligosaccharides, was observed in all the examined subjects. The uniformity in distribution of the sugar residues detected in the endometrial specimens following COH might be due to the massive FSH and/or hCG treatment which probably determines an endometrial environment almost equal in all the examined subjects. In all the treated subjects reactivity with sialidase-WGA and ConA, revealing the presence of Nacetyl -D-glucosamine and D-mannose respectively, was detected at the level of the lining epithelium.