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Keywords:

  • actin;
  • menopause;
  • myosin;
  • POP;
  • smooth muscle;
  • vagina

Abstract

Aims

We hypothesize that the expression of genes encoding vaginal smooth muscle (SM) contractile proteins is altered in patients with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and is influenced by age and menopausal status. We aim to analyze the expression of SM-myosin heavy chain (MHY11), caldesmon (CALD1), SM gamma-actin (ACTG2), and tropomyosin (TPM1), in premenopausal and postmenopausal women with advanced POP and asymptomatic controls.

Methods

During total hysterectomy we collected anterior vaginal wall biopsy samples from 55 women, 37 premenopausal (23 patients and 14 controls), and 18 postmenopausal women (13 patients and 5 controls). Total mRNA from the tissues was quantified by real-time RT-PCR.

Results

MHY11 gene expression was down-regulated in premenopausal POP patients compared to premenopausal controls (fivefold, P = 0.002). In the postmenopausal groups, we observed a sixfold increase in the CALD1 gene expression in POP patients compared to asymptomatic controls (P = 0.03). The gene expression of CALD1, ACTG2, and TPM1 was significantly down-regulated in vaginal tissue of healthy women after menopause (P < 0.05).

Conclusion

Dysregulation of the vaginal SM content in POP patients involves alteration of different cellular pathways according to age and menopausal status. Neurourol. Urodynam. 31:109–114, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.