Expression of fatty acid synthase is closely linked to proliferation and stromal decidualization in cycling endometrium

Ellen S. Pizer, Robert J. Kurman, Gary R. Pasternack, Francis P. Kuhajda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Estrogen-driven proliferative phase growth is the most rapid physiological proliferative process that occurs in the adult. The tissue growth that occurs during this phase of the menstrual cycle requires incorporation of a substantial quantity of fatty acid into the structural lipids of cell membranes. Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is the major biosynthetic enzyme required for de novo synthesis of fatty acids. In this immunohistochemical study, we have observed that human endometrium displays distinct patterns of FAS expression in the proliferative and secretory phases of the normal menstrual cycle. Proliferative endometrial glands and stroma show high FAS expression that closely correlates with expression of Ki-67, estrogen and progesterone receptors, supporting the view that FAS expression plays a role in cellular proliferation in response to estrogen. FAS expression declines during early to midsecretory phase, then reappears in decidualized stromal cells in late secretory phase as well as in the decidua of pregnancy. The second wave of FAS expression correlates with progesterone- receptor localization in the decidual cells, a finding suggesting a second induction of FAS expression in the endometrium, associated with differentiation, that may be regulated by progesterone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997


  • Endometrium
  • Fatty acid synthase
  • Ki-67
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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