An alternative hyper-ovulator inducer to replace clomiphene citrate (CC) is needed as it is unsuitable for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome and is associated with low pregnancy rates. Anastrozole is an effective hyper-ovulator inducer, but has not been well researched. In order to determine the effectiveness of anastrozole as a hyper-ovulator inducer and to an extent compare it with CC in similar situations, this study ascertained the effects of these drugs on the expression of the focal adhesion proteins, paxillin and FAK, which are uterine receptivity markers in the surface luminal uterine epithelial cells of day 1 and day 6 pregnant Wistar rats. The results show that paxillin is localized in focal adhesions at the base of the uterine epithelial cells at day 1 of pregnancy whereas at day 6, paxillin disassembles from the basal focal adhesions and localizes and increases its expression apically. FAK is faintly expressed at the basal aspect of the uterine epithelial cells while moderately expressed at the cell-to-cell contact at day 1 in all groups from where it disassembles and relocates apically and becomes more intensely expressed at day 6 of pregnancy in untreated and anastrozole treated rats. Although paxillin is localized apically at day 6, its expression is significantly down-regulated with CC treatment suggesting its interference with the implantation process. These findings seem to suggest that anastrozole could favor implantation.
KEY WORDS: Implantation; Uterus; Early pregnancy; Paxillin; FAK; Focal adhesion proteins.