Oestrogen receptors and their relation to neural receptive tissue of the labia minora
Article first published online: 1 MAY 2008
© 2008 THE AUTHORS. JOURNAL COMPILATION © 2008 BJU INTERNATIONAL
Volume 101, Issue 11, pages 1401–1406, June 2008
How to Cite
Martin-Alguacil, N., Pfaff, D. W., Kow, L.-M. and Schober, J. M. (2008), Oestrogen receptors and their relation to neural receptive tissue of the labia minora. BJU International, 101: 1401–1406. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.07626.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAY 2008
- Article first published online: 1 MAY 2008
- Accepted for publication 21 November 2007
- oestrogen receptors;
- vaginal introitus;
Michael G. Wyllie
Ian Eardley, UK
Jean Fourcroy, USA
Sidney Glina, Brazil
Julia Heiman, USA
Chris McMahon, Australia
Bob Millar, UK
Alvaro Morales, Canada
Michael Perelman, USA
Marcel Waldinger, Netherlands
To assess the cellular distributions of oestrogen receptors α and β (ERα and ERβ) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the labia minora, as knowledge about ER type and function may clarify the role of oestrogens in vaginal scar formation and improve outcomes in female genital surgery.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
Labial samples were taken from 10 girls (aged 2–9 years) who underwent surgery for labial fusion. The waste tissue strips obtained were used for immunohistochemical identification of ERα and ERβ, and nNOS in the labia minora.
There was ERα nuclear staining in the stroma of the labia minora close to the clitoris, and basal and suprabasal in the epidermal cells membrane restricted to superficial sections of the labia minora. ERβ was found in the stroma of the labia minora closer to the clitoris and in superficial sections, in the basal epidermal cells membrane and apocrine glandular epithelial cells membrane. There was also ERβ cell membrane staining in the basal and suprabasal epithelial cells and fibroblasts in the lamina propria.
Established ER presence allows the consideration of the introitus of the vagina as a target for oestrogen therapy in various clinical and surgical situations. Continuing elucidation of the immunohistochemistry of this external genital tissue might assist in the development of molecular tools to treat genital abnormalities. Details of this immunohistochemistry may also advance the understanding of the effects of sexual differentiation on the brain and other organ systems.