Quantification of nucleolar channel systems: Uniform presence throughout the upper endometrial cavity

Michael J. Szmyga, Eli A. Rybak, Edward J. Nejat, Erika H. Banks, Kathleen D. Whitney, Alex J. Polotsky, Debra S. Heller, U. Thomas Meier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of nucleolar channel systems (NCSs) by uterine region, applying continuous quantification. Design: Prospective clinical study. Setting: Tertiary care academic medical center. Patient(s): Forty-two naturally cycling women who underwent hysterectomy for benign indications. Intervention(s): NCS presence was quantified by a novel method in six uterine regions - fundus, left cornu, right cornu, anterior body, posterior body, and lower uterine segment (LUS) - with the use of indirect immunofluorescence. Main Outcome Measure(s): Percentage of endometrial epithelial cells (EECs) with NCSs per uterine region. Result(s): NCS quantification was observer independent (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.96) and its intrasample variability low (coefficient of variation 0.06). Eleven of 42 hysterectomy specimens were midluteal, ten of which were analyzable with nine containing >5% EECs with NCSs in at least one region. The percentage of EECs with NCSs varied significantly between the LUS (6.1%; interquartile range [IQR] 3.0-9.9) and the upper five regions (16.9%; IQR 12.7-23.4), with fewer NCSs in the basal layer of the endometrium (17 ± 6%) versus the middle (46 ± 9%) and luminal layers (38 ± 9%) of all six regions. Conclusion(s): NCS quantification during the midluteal phase demonstrates uniform presence throughout the endometrial cavity, excluding the LUS, with a preference for the functional luminal layers. Our quantitative NCS evaluation provides a benchmark for future studies and further supports NCS presence as a potential marker for the window of implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-564
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Nucleolar channel system (NCS)
  • endometrium
  • receptivity
  • secretory transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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