Xue et al. (2007) identified a CpG island flanking the SF1 promoter and exon I region (-85/+239) and determined its methylation patterns in endometrial and endometriotic cells. SF1 mRNA and protein levels in endometriotic stromal cells were significantly higher than those in endometrial stromal cells (p less than ). Bisulfite sequencing showed strikingly increased methylation in endometrial cells, compared with endometriotic cells (p less than ). Xue et al. (2007) concluded that this was the first demonstration of methylation-dependent regulation of SF1 in any mammalian tissue and suggested that these findings pointed to a new mechanism for targeting local estrogen biosynthesis in endometriosis ( 131200 ).
The research in my laboratory has made significant contributions in the field of Comparative Immunoendocrinology and Reproductive Physiology using reptiles and fish as animal models. In recent years, we have explored the neuroendocrine control of non-specific immune responses in fish, Channa punctatus, and wall lizards, Hemidactylus flaviviridis. For the first time we demonstrated sexual dimorphism in immune responses in reptiles. Genomic action of catecholamines in regulation of phagocytosis in wall lizards, and non-genomic action of cortisol in fish are the novel observations from our laboratory.
In the area of reproductive physiology in reptiles, our research was among the first to demonstrate regional histological and functional differentiation in the epididymis. Further, our work has established the cross-talk between Leydig cell-Sertoli cell, Leydig cell-testicular macrophage and Leydig cell-mast cell in wall lizards. We have reported that reptilian folliculogenesis, spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis are regulated exclusively by FSH, in contrast to mammals. Presently, we are studying the differential expression of genes regulating gonadal cyclicity in fish and lizards. Also, an effort is being made to demonstrate the temporal expression of specific gonadotropin and sex steroid receptors in both the model organisms. Apart from this, the immunological study in fish and lizards is aimed to study the toll-like receptors and their defensive role in the animal.