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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

 

Kevin G. Osteen, Ph.D.

Pierre Soupart Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Women's Reproductive Health and Research Center
Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Meharry Medical College
Researcher

Contact Information:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
B-1100 MCN
Nashville, TN 37232-2519
615-322-4196
Fax: 615-343-7913

Research Description

Among normal adult tissues, the endometrial lining of the human uterus undergoes perhaps the most dynamic cycle of steroid controlled growth, differentiation and tissue breakdown. The rate of estrogen-driven cell growth during the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle rivals that of many tumors while progesterone inhibits endometrial growth and appears to provide protection from the development of both benign diseases and certain neoplasms. Ovarian steroids clearly control the endometrium and endometrial activity; however, steroids alone cannot account for the entire orchestration of such well-controlled and often focal patterns of cellular proliferation and differentiation which are observed. To better understand steroid sensitive tissue behavior, my research laboratory has focused on the endometrium as a model to identify interrelationships between steroid action and stromal-epithelial cell communication via specific paracrine factors. Of special interest to us are the cellular and molecular mechanisms which control steroid-dependent versus steroid-independent expressions of metalloproteinases. These enzymes are necessary for degradation of extracellular matrix proteins and play important roles in the extensive tissue remodeling which normally occurs during the menstrual cycle as well as during establishment of the hemochorial placenta. Metalloproteinases may also contribute to the pathophysiology of endometrial dysfunction including abnormal bleeding, defects of placentation and the extrauterine disease endometriosis. Recently, we have extended our studies to investigate altered metalloproteinase gene and protein expression relative to the reproductive toxicology of dioxin.

Publications