• Open Access

Stem-Like Epithelial Cells Are Concentrated in the Distal End of the Fallopian Tube: A Site for Injury and Serous Cancer Initiation§

Authors

  • Daniel Y. Paik,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Deanna M. Janzen,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Amanda M. Schafenacker,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Victor S. Velasco,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • May S. Shung,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Donghui Cheng,

    1. The Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Jiaoti Huang,

    1. Department of Pathology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Owen N. Witte,

    1. The Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    2. Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    3. Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular GeneticsUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    4. Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Sanaz Memarzadeh

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    2. Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    3. The VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, Los Angeles, California, USA
    • Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, 610 Charles E. Young Drive East, 3017 Terasaki Life Sciences Building, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
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    • Telephone: 310-206-1075; Fax: 310-206-3670


  • Author contributions: D.Y.P. and D.M.J.: conception and design, collection and/or assembly of data, data analysis and interpretation, and manuscript writing; A.M.S., V.S.V., M.S.S., and D.C.: conception and design, collection and/or assembly of data, and data analysis and interpretation; J.H.: data analysis and interpretation; O.N.W.: manuscript writing; S.M.: conception and design, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing, and final approval of manuscript.

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

  • §

    First published online in STEM CELLSEXPRESS August 21, 2012.

Abstract

The reproductive role of the fallopian tube is to transport the sperm and egg. The tube is positioned to act as a bridge between the ovary where the egg is released and the uterus where implantation occurs. Throughout reproductive years, the fallopian tube epithelium undergoes repetitive damage and regeneration. Although a reservoir of adult epithelial stem cells must exist to replenish damaged cells, they remain unidentified. Here, we report isolation of a subset of basally located human fallopian tube epithelia (FTE) that lack markers of ciliated (β-tubulin; TUBB4) or secretory (PAX8) differentiated cells. These undifferentiated cells expressed cell surface antigens: epithelial cell adhesion molecule, CD44, and integrin α 6. This FTE subpopulation was fivefold enriched for cells capable of clonal growth and self-renewal suggesting that they contain the FTE stem-like cells (FTESCs). A twofold enrichment of the FTESC was found in the distal compared to the proximal end of the tube. The distal fimbriated end of the fallopian tube is a well-characterized locus for initiation of serous carcinomas. An expansion of the cells expressing markers of FTESC was detected in tubal intraepithelial carcinomas and in fallopian tubes from patients with invasive serous cancer. These findings suggest that FTESC may play a role in the initiation of serous tumors. Characterization of these stem-like cells will provide new insight into how the FTE regenerate, respond to injury, and may initiate cancer. STEM CELLS2012;30:2487–2497

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