By Lynn A. Lavia (auth.), Lynn A. Lavia (eds.)

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These included work on the endometrium of the human (6,12,33,70) in normal cycling, hyperplastic and neoplastic states. Qassic studies of the normal cycle have been summarized by Verma (66) who described the idealized endometrial epithelial cell during the menstrual cycle. We have recently completed a quantitative ultrastructural analysis of nuclei and nucleoli in endometrial epithelium during varying subphases of the menstrual cycle as well as during varying stages of hyperplasia and frank adenocarcinoma (Table 2).

In some systems the control of determination appears to be through the release of either stimulatory or inhibitory stromal signals (16,60). Whether similar signals control this process in the uterus remains to be seen. The search for these factors is quite important. Recent ultrastructural studies on developing systems also holds clues for the understanding of inductive control mechanisms which may help to differentiate the type of factors required based on spatial distances seen between these cells.

However, these studies show that stromal cells continue to exert inductive influences which may affect the ability of epithelial cells to develop normally. In fact, these interactions are not different than those described above for developing systems (see above). It has been further suggested that it is precisely this lack of stromal cell "control" over its endometrial epithelium which may allow hyperplastic and even neoplastic development (12). The differences between the complex stromal-epithelial cell interactions seen in the human and the indirect, more distant interactions seen in the rat endometrium may be due to differences in the particular system requirements of the epithelium in these species.

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