The nature of endometrial glycoconjugates throughout the menstrual cycle was investigated using a panel of lectins directed against specific sugar groups. This approach was also applied to a series of endometrial adenocarcinomas the findings for which were compared with those of normal controls. A change in the expression of glycosubstances was found in relation to the phase of the menstrual cycle; that there was increasing sialylation of terminal galactose groups during the secretory phase. This change may be influenced by progesterone. One group of endometrial adenocarcinomas exhibited binding patterns similar to those seen in secretory endometrium and this may be related to progesterone receptor state. Expression of fucose containing glycosubstances was identified in half of the carcinomas but not in the normal control tissue, thus indicating that a change in fucosylation occurs with endometrial neoplasia. None of the lectin binding patterns, however, correlated with variables in the patients themselves or within the tumours.
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