Now Available from Lifeline®: Fallopian Tube Epithelial Cells!

The human female reproductive system is responsible for the development of eggs (the female gametes) the production of hormones (progesterone and estrogen), and importantly, supports development and delivery of a fetus. Eggs develop in the ovaries, a pair of structures on either side of the uterus. A woman is born with all of her eggs, which exist in an immature form. Once she reaches puberty, an egg matures and is released once a month into the fallopian tube, which connects the ovary to the uterus. The multiple layers of the fallopian tubes include a smooth muscle layer that, like in the intestine, undergoes peristalsis to promote movement of the egg through the tube.

Additionally, an inner layer of epithelial cells lines the fallopian tubes, and cilia on the surface of these cells helps propel the egg toward the uterus. The uterus, or womb, receives the released egg, and the endometrium, or uterine lining, begins to thicken in preparation for implantation of a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, the uterus sheds the endometrium in a process called menstruation.

Lifeline® is excited to announce the introduction of new Normal Human Fallopian Tube Epithelial cells, now available as part of our catalog of human female reproductive cells. They are optimized for growth in our ReproLife™ medium, free from phenol red, which has weak estrogen activity and can affect experimental results by causing off-target effects.

Our new fallopian tube epithelial cells can be used to understand the normal biology of the female reproductive system and associated diseases. Fallopian tube bacterial infection, called salpingitis, can be caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia, and often presents with inflammation of the fallopian tubes. Additionally, pelvic inflammatory disease is also often a symptom of bacterial infections and can affect many parts of the female reproductive system.

The fallopian tubes can also be the site of ectopic pregnancies, which occur when a fertilized egg fails to reach the uterus and implants instead in the fallopian tube. When this happens, the embryo is generally not viable and the health of the mother may be at risk if the embryo progresses without treatment.

While ovarian cancer is more common, fallopian tube cancer does occur, comprising 1-2% of female reproductive tract cancers. Risk factors include a family history of gynecological cancers, mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, pelvic inflammatory disease, or salpingitis. As research on this disease progresses, we have learned more about it and how it is related to ovarian cancer. Surgical evidence suggests that women with BRCA mutations undergoing preventative surgery for ovarian cancer may have lesions at the beginning of the fallopian tube, which may have been previously mistaken for ovarian cancer.

Additionally, genetic analysis of ovarian and fallopian tube tumors suggests that in some ovarian cancers, the tumor may actually start in the fallopian tube rather than in the ovary. Spread of the fallopian tube tumor may then lead to the seeding of ovarian tumors. Since many women present with advanced stage disease, screening for early lesions in the fallopian tube may lead to improved screening methods.

Lifeline® Normal Human Fallopian Tube epithelial cells join our catalog of female reproductive cells, including:

How are you using Lifeline® cells in your research? Have you developed new culture assays to model human disease? Let us know and your study could be featured here on our blog!

References:

Callahan et al., J Clin Oncol. (2007). PMID: 17761984
Labidi-Galy et al., Nat Commun. (2017). PMID: 29061967
Kalampokas et al., Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. (2013). PMID: 23622731