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  • Author: K A Watson x
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P Xia, V K M Han, D Viuff, D T Armstrong and A J Watson


We have investigated the patterns of expression and cellular localization of polypeptides and mRNAs encoding IGF-I and IGF-II in intact bovine oviduct and two bovine oviductal primary cultures (monolayers and vesicles) which are utilized for supporting development in vitro. IGF-I and IGF-II polypeptides were localized by immunocytochemistry in intact oviduct and in both primary cultures for an 8-day culture interval, but IGF-II polypeptide displayed a more restricted distribution in day 8 monolayer cultures. IGF-I and IGF-II mRNAs were localized in both oviductal cell cultures as assessed by in situ hybridization. We were unable to detect IGF-I and IGF-II mRNAs in intact oviduct by in situ hybridization; however, transcripts encoding IGF-I and IGF-II mRNAs were detected in intact oviduct cell preparations and all primary culture samples by reverse transcription-PCR methods. The origin and phenotypic stability of these cultures was assessed by immunostaining with antibodies raised against vimentin (mesenchymal cell marker) and cytokeratin (epithelial cell marker). Over the culture period, the proportion of vimentin-immunoreactive cells increased in the monolayer cultures but remained at a low level in the vesicle cultures which were predominantly composed of cytokeratin-positive cells. The results suggest that oviductal cell co-culture may facilitate early mammalian development, in part, by the establishment of paracrine growth factor circuits.

Journal of Endocrinology (1996) 149, 41–53

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D Pugazhendhi, K A Watson, S Mills, N Botting, G S Pope and P D Darbre

The phytoestrogens genistein, daidzein and the daidzein metabolite equol have been shown previously to possess oestrogen agonist activity. However, following consumption of soya diets, they are found in the body not only as aglycones but also as metabolites conjugated at their 4′- and 7-hydroxyl groups with sulphate. This paper describes the effects of monosulphation on the oestrogen agonist properties of these three phytoestrogens in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in terms of their relative ability to compete with [3H]oestradiol for binding to oestrogen receptor (ER), to induce a stably transfected oestrogen-responsive reporter gene (ERE-CAT) and to stimulate cell growth. In no case did sulphation abolish activity. The 4′-sulphation of genistein reduced oestrogen agonist activity to a small extent in whole-cell assays but increased the relative binding affinity to ER. The 7-sulphation of genistein, and also of equol, reduced oestrogen agonist activity substantially in all assays. By contrast, the position of monosulphation of daidzein acted in an opposing manner on oestrogen agonist activity. Sulphation at the 4′-position of daidzein resulted in a modest reduction in oestrogen agonist activity but sulphation of daidzein at the 7-position resulted in an increase in oestrogen agonist activity. Molecular modelling and docking studies suggested that the inverse effects of sulphation could be explained by the binding of daidzein into the ligand-binding domain of the ER in the opposite orientation compared with genistein and equol. This is the first report of sulphation enhancing activity of an isoflavone and inverse effects of sulphation between individual phytoestrogens.

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The significance of a positive thyroid complement-fixation (c.f.) test in thyrotoxicosis has been investigated by studying the correlation between various features of the disease in 468 patients. A significant correlation was found between the positivity of the c.f. test and (1) the degree of lymphocytic infiltration in the gland; (2) incidence of postoperative hypothyroidism; (3) size of the goitre; (4) previous treatment with radioiodine, and (5) a family history of thyroid disease. No correlation was found between the results of the test and the incidence of reactions to antithyroid drugs. The results suggest that thyrotoxic patients with positive c.f. tests should be treated initially with antithyroid drugs unless there is a definite indication for surgery.