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Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Endocrinology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2021) | Viewed by 44767

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, “Filippo Del Ponte” Hospital, University of Insubria, 21100 Varese, VA, Italy
Interests: women’s health; minimally invasive procedures; up-to-date management; gynecology; reproductive health; surgery
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Dear Colleagues,

Endometriosis is defined as the presence of endometrial-like endometrial cells, glands, and stroma outside the uterus, causing a strong inflammatory-like microenvironment in the affected tissue. The exact prevalence of endometriosis is unknown, but estimates range from 2%–10% of women of reproductive age to 50% of infertile women. The etiopathogenesis of endometriosis remains controversial—immune, hormonal, genetic, and epigenetic factors may all be involved, and several theories have been proposed to explain it.

This Special Issue aims to publish groundbreaking research and review articles in basic and translational science (immunology, cell biology, genetics, and epigenetics) that may create new scenarios and change our perspective of the topic.

This Special Issue is a continuation of a previous one, entitled “Endometriosis Research: From Bench to Bedside” (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms/special_issues/endometriosis_research).

Dr. Antonio Simone Laganà
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • endometriosis
  • reproductive immunology
  • inflammation
  • cytokines
  • infertility
  • in vitro fertilization
  • peritoneal fluid
  • apoptosis
  • epigenetics
  • ovary

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Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 4365 KiB  
Article
Impact of Musashi-1 and Musashi-2 Double Knockdown on Notch Signaling and the Pathogenesis of Endometriosis
by Theresa Strauß, Burkhard Greve, Michael Gabriel, Nurjannah Achmad, Dhanusha Schwan, Nancy Adriana Espinoza-Sanchez, Antonio Simone Laganà, Ludwig Kiesel, Matti Poutanen, Martin Götte and Sebastian Daniel Schäfer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(5), 2851; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23052851 - 05 Mar 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2909
Abstract
The stem cell marker and RNA-binding protein Musashi-1 is overexpressed in endometriosis. Musashi-1-siRNA knockdown in Ishikawa cells altered the expression of stem cell related genes, such as OCT-4. To investigate the role of both human Musashi homologues (MSI-1 and MSI-2) in the pathogenesis [...] Read more.
The stem cell marker and RNA-binding protein Musashi-1 is overexpressed in endometriosis. Musashi-1-siRNA knockdown in Ishikawa cells altered the expression of stem cell related genes, such as OCT-4. To investigate the role of both human Musashi homologues (MSI-1 and MSI-2) in the pathogenesis of endometriosis, immortalized endometriotic 12-Z cells and primary endometriotic stroma cells were treated with Musashi-1- and Musashi-2-siRNA. Subsequently, the impact on cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, cell necrosis, spheroid formation, stem cell phenotype and the Notch signaling pathway was studied in vitro. Using the ENDOMET Turku Endometriosis database, the gene expression of stem cell markers and Notch signaling pathway constituents were analyzed according to localization of the endometriosis lesions. The database analysis demonstrated that expression of Musashi and Notch pathway-related genes are dysregulated in patients with endometriosis. Musashi-1/2-double-knockdown increased apoptosis and necrosis and reduced stem cell gene expression, cell proliferation, and the formation of spheroids. Musashi silencing increased the expression of the anti-proliferation mediator p21. Our findings suggest the therapeutic potential of targeting the Musashi–Notch axis. We conclude that the Musashi genes have an impact on Notch signaling and the pathogenesis of endometriosis through the downregulation of proliferation, stemness characteristics and the upregulation of apoptosis, necrosis and of the cell cycle regulator p21. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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15 pages, 1821 KiB  
Article
Altered p16Ink4a, IL-1β, and Lamin b1 Protein Expression Suggest Cellular Senescence in Deep Endometriotic Lesions
by Helena Malvezzi, Cristine Dobo, Renee Zon Filippi, Helen Mendes do Nascimento, Laura Palmieri da Silva e Sousa, Juliana Meola, Carla Azevedo Piccinato and Sérgio Podgaec
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(5), 2476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23052476 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2115
Abstract
Endometriosis causes immunological and cellular alterations. Endometriosis lesions have lower levels of lamin b1 than the endometrium. Moreover, high levels of pro-inflammatory markers are observed in the peritoneal fluid, follicular fluid, and serum in endometriosis lesions. Thus, we hypothesized that the accumulation of [...] Read more.
Endometriosis causes immunological and cellular alterations. Endometriosis lesions have lower levels of lamin b1 than the endometrium. Moreover, high levels of pro-inflammatory markers are observed in the peritoneal fluid, follicular fluid, and serum in endometriosis lesions. Thus, we hypothesized that the accumulation of senescent cells in endometriosis tissues would facilitate endometriosis maintenance in an inflammatory microenvironment. To study senescent cell markers and the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in endometriosis lesions, we conducted a cross-sectional study with 27 patients undergoing video laparoscopy for endometriosis resection and 19 patients without endometriosis. Endometriosis lesions were collected from patients with endometriosis, while eutopic endometrium was collected from patients both with and without endometriosis. Tissues were evaluated for senescence markers (p16Ink4a, lamin b1, and IL-1β) and interleukin concentrations. The expression of p16Ink4a increased in lesions compared to that in eutopic endometrium from endometriosis patients in the secretory phase. In the proliferative phase, lesions exhibited lower lamin b1 expression but higher IL-4 expression than the eutopic endometrium. Further, IL-1β levels were higher in the lesions than in the eutopic endometrium in both the secretory and proliferative phases. We believe that our findings may provide targets for better therapeutic interventions to alleviate the symptoms of endometriosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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13 pages, 1865 KiB  
Article
Endometriosis Susceptibility to Dapsone-Hydroxylamine-Induced Alterations Can Be Prevented by Licorice Intake: In Vivo and In Vitro Study
by Chiara Sabbadin, Alessandra Andrisani, Gabriella Donà, Elena Tibaldi, Anna Maria Brunati, Stefano Dall’Acqua, Eugenio Ragazzi, Guido Ambrosini, Decio Armanini and Luciana Bordin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22168476 - 06 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Endometriosis, an estrogen-dependent chronic gynecological disease, is characterized by a systemic inflammation that affects circulating red blood cells (RBC), by reducing anti-oxidant defenses. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential beneficial effects of licorice intake to protect RBCs from dapsone [...] Read more.
Endometriosis, an estrogen-dependent chronic gynecological disease, is characterized by a systemic inflammation that affects circulating red blood cells (RBC), by reducing anti-oxidant defenses. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential beneficial effects of licorice intake to protect RBCs from dapsone hydroxylamine (DDS-NHOH), a harmful metabolite of dapsone, commonly used in the treatment of many diseases. A control group (CG, n = 12) and a patient group (PG, n = 18) were treated with licorice extract (25 mg/day), for a week. Blood samples before (T0) and after (T1) treatment were analyzed for: i) band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation and high molecular weight aggregates; and ii) glutathionylation and carbonic anhydrase activity, in the presence or absence of adjunctive oxidative stress induced by DDS-NHOH. Results were correlated with plasma glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) concentrations, measured by HPLC–MS. Results showed that licorice intake decreased the level of DDS-NHOH-related oxidative alterations in RBCs, and the reduction was directly correlated with plasma GA concentration. In conclusion, in PG, the inability to counteract oxidative stress is a serious concern in the evaluation of therapeutic approaches. GA, by protecting RBC from oxidative assault, as in dapsone therapy, might be considered as a new potential tool for preventing further switching into severe endometriosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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19 pages, 2584 KiB  
Article
LINC01133 Inhibits Invasion and Promotes Proliferation in an Endometriosis Epithelial Cell Line
by Iveta Yotova, Quanah J. Hudson, Florian M. Pauler, Katharina Proestling, Isabella Haslinger, Lorenz Kuessel, Alexandra Perricos, Heinrich Husslein and René Wenzl
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22168385 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2221
Abstract
Endometriosis is a common gynecological disorder characterized by ectopic growth of endometrium outside the uterus and is associated with chronic pain and infertility. We investigated the role of the long intergenic noncoding RNA 01133 (LINC01133) in endometriosis, an lncRNA that has [...] Read more.
Endometriosis is a common gynecological disorder characterized by ectopic growth of endometrium outside the uterus and is associated with chronic pain and infertility. We investigated the role of the long intergenic noncoding RNA 01133 (LINC01133) in endometriosis, an lncRNA that has been implicated in several types of cancer. We found that LINC01133 is upregulated in ectopic endometriotic lesions. As expression appeared higher in the epithelial endometrial layer, we performed a siRNA knockdown of LINC01133 in an endometriosis epithelial cell line. Phenotypic assays indicated that LINC01133 may promote proliferation and suppress cellular migration, and affect the cytoskeleton and morphology of the cells. Gene ontology analysis of differentially expressed genes indicated that cell proliferation and migration pathways were affected in line with the observed phenotype. We validated upregulation of p21 and downregulation of Cyclin A at the protein level, which together with the quantification of the DNA content using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis indicated that the observed effects on cellular proliferation may be due to changes in cell cycle. Further, we found testis-specific protein kinase 1 (TESK1) kinase upregulation corresponding with phosphorylation and inactivation of actin severing protein Cofilin, which could explain changes in the cytoskeleton and cellular migration. These results indicate that endometriosis is associated with LINC01133 upregulation, which may affect pathogenesis via the cellular proliferation and migration pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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14 pages, 2467 KiB  
Article
Peritoneal Fluid from Patients with Ovarian Endometriosis Displays Immunosuppressive Potential and Stimulates Th2 Response
by Joanna Olkowska-Truchanowicz, Agata Białoszewska, Aneta Zwierzchowska, Alicja Sztokfisz-Ignasiak, Izabela Janiuk, Filip Dąbrowski, Grażyna Korczak-Kowalska, Ewa Barcz, Katarzyna Bocian and Jacek Malejczyk
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 8134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22158134 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2347
Abstract
Endometriosis is a common gynaecological disorder characterized by the ectopic growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. It is associated with chronic pelvic inflammation and autoimmune reactivity manifesting by autoantibody production and abrogated cellular immune responses. Endometriotic peritoneal fluid contains various infiltrating [...] Read more.
Endometriosis is a common gynaecological disorder characterized by the ectopic growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. It is associated with chronic pelvic inflammation and autoimmune reactivity manifesting by autoantibody production and abrogated cellular immune responses. Endometriotic peritoneal fluid contains various infiltrating leucocyte populations and a bulk of proinflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines. However, the nature and significance of the peritoneal milieu in women with endometriosis still remains obscure. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the immunoregulatory activity of the peritoneal fluid (PF) from women with endometriosis. The peritoneal fluid samples were collected during laparoscopic surgery from 30 women with and without endometriosis. Immunoregulatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, IFN-γ and TNF) and chemokines (CCL2, CCL5, CXCL8 and CXCL9) were evaluated in PF and culture supernatants generated by unstimulated and CD3/CD28/IL-2-stimulated CD4+ T cells cultured in the presence of PF. The effect of PF on the generation of Treg and Th17 cells in CD4+ T cell cultures, as well as the natural cytotoxic activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, was also investigated. Concentrations of IL-6, IL-10, CCL2, CXCL8 and CXCL9 were significantly upregulated in the PF from women with endometriosis when compared to control women, whereas concentrations of other cytokines and chemokines were unaffected. The culturing of unstimulated and CD3/CD28/IL-2-stimulated CD4+ T cells in the presence of endometriotic PF resulted in the downregulation of their IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-17A and TNF production as compared to culture medium alone. On the other side, endometriotic PF significantly stimulated the production of IL-4 and IL-10. Endometriotic PF also stimulated the release of CCL2 and CXCL8, whereas the production of CCL5 and CXCL9 was downregulated. Endometriotic PF stimulated the generation of Treg cells and had an inhibitory effect on the generation of Th17 cells in cultures of CD4+ T cells. It also inhibited the NK cell cytotoxic activity of the peripheral blood lymphocytes. These results strongly imply that the PF from patients with endometriosis has immunoregulatory/immunosuppressive activity and shifts the Th1/Th2 cytokine balance toward the Th2 response, which may account for deviation of local and systemic immune responses. However, a similar trend, albeit not a statistically significant one, was also observed in case of PF from women without endometriosis, thus suggesting that peritoneal milieu may in general display some immunoregulatory/immunosuppressive properties. It should be stressed, however, that our present observations were made on a relatively small number of PF samples and further studies are needed to reveal possible mechanism(s) responsible for this phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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14 pages, 4425 KiB  
Article
BMI-1 Expression Heterogeneity in Endometriosis-Related and Non-Endometriotic Ovarian Carcinoma
by Ludmila Lozneanu, Raluca Anca Balan, Ioana Păvăleanu, Simona Eliza Giuşcă, Irina-Draga Căruntu and Cornelia Amalinei
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 6082; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22116082 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2060
Abstract
BMI-1 is a key component of stem cells, which are essential for normal organ development and cell phenotype maintenance. BMI-1 expression is deregulated in cancer, resulting in the alteration of chromatin and gene transcription repression. The cellular signaling pathway that governs BMI-1 action [...] Read more.
BMI-1 is a key component of stem cells, which are essential for normal organ development and cell phenotype maintenance. BMI-1 expression is deregulated in cancer, resulting in the alteration of chromatin and gene transcription repression. The cellular signaling pathway that governs BMI-1 action in the ovarian carcinogenesis sequences is incompletely deciphered. In this study, we set out to analyze the immunohistochemical (IHC) BMI-1 expression in two different groups: endometriosis-related ovarian carcinoma (EOC) and non-endometriotic ovarian carcinoma (NEOC), aiming to identify the differences in its tissue profile. Methods: BMI-1 IHC expression has been individually quantified in epithelial and in stromal components by using adapted scores systems. Statistical analysis was performed to analyze the relationship between BMI-1 epithelial and stromal profile in each group and between groups and its correlation with classical clinicopathological characteristics. Results: BMI-1 expression in epithelial tumor cells was mostly low or negative in the EOC group, and predominantly positive in the NEOC group. Moreover, the stromal BMI-1 expression was variable in the EOC group, whereas in the NEOC group, stromal BMI-1 expression was mainly strong. We noted statistically significant differences between the epithelial and stromal BMI-1 profiles in each group and between the two ovarian carcinoma (OC) groups. Conclusions: Our study provides solid evidence for a different BMI-1 expression in EOC and NEOC, corresponding to the differences in their etiopathogeny. The reported differences in the BMI-1 expression of EOC and NEOC need to be further validated in a larger and homogenous cohort of study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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20 pages, 2386 KiB  
Article
Peritoneal Modulators of EZH2-miR-155 Cross-Talk in Endometriosis
by Sarah Brunty, Kristeena Ray Wright, Brenda Mitchell and Nalini Santanam
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3492; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073492 - 28 Mar 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2264
Abstract
Activation of trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) by EZH2, a component of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), is suggested to play a role in endometriosis. However, the mechanism by which this complex is dysregulated in endometriosis is not completely understood. [...] Read more.
Activation of trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) by EZH2, a component of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), is suggested to play a role in endometriosis. However, the mechanism by which this complex is dysregulated in endometriosis is not completely understood. Here, using eutopic and ectopic tissues, as well as peritoneal fluid (PF) from IRB-approved and consented patients with and without endometriosis, the expression of PRC2 complex components, JARID2, miR-155 (known regulators of EZH2), and a key inflammatory modulator, FOXP3, was measured. A higher expression of EZH2, H3K27me3, JARID2, and FOXP3 as well as miR-155 was noted in both the patient tissues and in endometrial PF treated cells. Gain-or-loss of function of miR-155 showed an effect on the PRC2 complex but had little effect on JARID2 expression, suggesting alternate pathways. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by qPCR showed differential expression of PRC2 complex proteins and its associated binding partners in JARID2 vs. EZH2 pull down assays. In particular, endometriotic PF treatment increased the expression of PHF19 (p = 0.0474), a gene silencer and co-factor that promotes PRC2 interaction with its targets. Thus, these studies have identified the potential novel crosstalk between miR-155-PRC2 complex-JARID2 and PHF19 in endometriosis, providing an opportunity to test other epigenetic targets in endometriosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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Review

Jump to: Research

30 pages, 746 KiB  
Review
A Systematic Review of Atypical Endometriosis-Associated Biomarkers
by Ludovica Bartiromo, Matteo Schimberni, Roberta Villanacci, Giorgia Mangili, Stefano Ferrari, Jessica Ottolina, Noemi Salmeri, Carolina Dolci, Iacopo Tandoi and Massimo Candiani
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(8), 4425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23084425 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3145
Abstract
Ovarian endometriosis may increase the risk of malignancy. Several studies have suggested atypical endometriosis as the direct precursor of endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer. We performed an advanced, systematic search of the online medical databases PubMed and Medline. The search revealed n = 40 studies [...] Read more.
Ovarian endometriosis may increase the risk of malignancy. Several studies have suggested atypical endometriosis as the direct precursor of endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer. We performed an advanced, systematic search of the online medical databases PubMed and Medline. The search revealed n = 40 studies eligible for inclusion in this systematic review. Of these, n = 39 were finally included. The results from included studies are characterized by high heterogeneity, but some consistency has been found for altered expression in phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR pathway, ARID1a, estrogen and progesterone receptors, transcriptional, nuclear, and growth factors in atypical endometriosis. Although many targets have been proposed as biomarkers for the presence of atypical endometriosis, none of them has such strong evidence to justify their systematic use in clinical practice, and they all need expensive molecular analyses. Further well-designed studies are needed to validate the evidence on available biomarkers and to investigate novel serum markers for atypical endometriosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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17 pages, 1032 KiB  
Review
Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Association between Endometriosis and Ectopic Pregnancy
by Julia Załęcka, Katarzyna Pankiewicz, Tadeusz Issat and Piotr Laudański
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(7), 3490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23073490 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5182
Abstract
Endometriosis is a common inflammatory disease characterized by the presence of endometrial cells outside the uterine cavity. It is estimated that it affects 10% of women of reproductive age. Its pathogenesis covers a wide range of abnormalities, including adhesion, proliferation, and cell signaling [...] Read more.
Endometriosis is a common inflammatory disease characterized by the presence of endometrial cells outside the uterine cavity. It is estimated that it affects 10% of women of reproductive age. Its pathogenesis covers a wide range of abnormalities, including adhesion, proliferation, and cell signaling disturbances. It is associated with a significant deterioration in quality of life as a result of chronic pelvic pain and may also lead to infertility. One of the most serious complications of endometriosis is an ectopic pregnancy (EP). Currently, the exact mechanism explaining this phenomenon is unknown; therefore, there are no effective methods of prevention. It is assumed that the pathogenesis of EP is influenced by abnormalities in the contraction of the fallopian tube muscles, the mobility of the cilia, and in the fallopian microenvironment. Endometriosis can disrupt function on all three levels and thus contribute to the implantation of the embryo beyond the physiological site. This review takes into account aspects of the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of endometriosis and EP, with particular emphasis on the similarities between them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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12 pages, 1005 KiB  
Review
Neurogenic Inflammation in the Context of Endometriosis—What Do We Know?
by Renata Voltolini Velho, Eliane Taube, Jalid Sehouli and Sylvia Mechsner
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(23), 13102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222313102 - 03 Dec 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3321
Abstract
Endometriosis (EM) is an estrogen-dependent disease characterized by the presence of epithelial, stromal, and smooth muscle cells outside the uterine cavity. It is a chronic and debilitating condition affecting ~10% of women. EM is characterized by infertility and pain, such as dysmenorrhea, chronic [...] Read more.
Endometriosis (EM) is an estrogen-dependent disease characterized by the presence of epithelial, stromal, and smooth muscle cells outside the uterine cavity. It is a chronic and debilitating condition affecting ~10% of women. EM is characterized by infertility and pain, such as dysmenorrhea, chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia, dysuria, and dyschezia. Although EM was first described in 1860, its aetiology and pathogenesis remain uncertain. Recent evidence demonstrates that the peripheral nervous system plays an important role in the pathophysiology of this disease. Sensory nerves, which surround and innervate endometriotic lesions, not only drive the chronic and debilitating pain associated with EM but also contribute to a growth phenotype by secreting neurotrophic factors and interacting with surrounding immune cells. Here we review the role that peripheral nerves play in driving and maintaining endometriotic lesions. A better understanding of the role of this system, as well as its interactions with immune cells, will unearth novel disease-relevant pathways and targets, providing new therapeutics and better-tailored treatment options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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18 pages, 2586 KiB  
Review
The Role of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Endometriosis
by Quanah J. Hudson, Katharina Proestling, Alexandra Perricos, Lorenz Kuessel, Heinrich Husslein, René Wenzl and Iveta Yotova
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(21), 11425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111425 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2237
Abstract
Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disorder affecting the quality of life and fertility of many women around the world. Heterogeneous and non-specific symptoms may lead to a delay in diagnosis, with treatment options limited to surgery and hormonal therapy. Hence, there is a [...] Read more.
Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disorder affecting the quality of life and fertility of many women around the world. Heterogeneous and non-specific symptoms may lead to a delay in diagnosis, with treatment options limited to surgery and hormonal therapy. Hence, there is a need to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease to improve diagnosis and treatment. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been increasingly shown to be involved in gene regulation but remain relatively under investigated in endometriosis. Mutational and transcriptomic studies have implicated lncRNAs in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in lncRNAs or their regulatory regions have been associated with endometriosis. Genome-wide transcriptomic studies have identified lncRNAs that show deregulated expression in endometriosis, some of which have been subjected to further experiments, which support a role in endometriosis. Mechanistic studies indicate that lncRNAs may regulate genes involved in endometriosis by acting as a molecular sponge for miRNAs, by directly targeting regulatory elements via interactions with chromatin or transcription factors or by affecting signaling pathways. Future studies should concentrate on determining the role of uncharacterized lncRNAs revealed by endometriosis transcriptome studies and the relevance of lncRNAs implicated in the disease by in vitro and animal model studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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18 pages, 654 KiB  
Review
Translational Applications of Linear and Circular Long Noncoding RNAs in Endometriosis
by Xiyin Wang, Luca Parodi and Shannon M. Hawkins
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10626; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910626 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2113
Abstract
Endometriosis is a chronic gynecologic disease that negatively affects the quality of life of many women. Unfortunately, endometriosis does not have a cure. The current medical treatments involve hormonal manipulation with unwanted side effects and high recurrence rates after stopping the medication. Sadly, [...] Read more.
Endometriosis is a chronic gynecologic disease that negatively affects the quality of life of many women. Unfortunately, endometriosis does not have a cure. The current medical treatments involve hormonal manipulation with unwanted side effects and high recurrence rates after stopping the medication. Sadly, a definitive diagnosis for endometriosis requires invasive surgical procedures, with the risk of complications, additional surgeries in the future, and a high rate of recurrence. Both improved therapies and noninvasive diagnostic tests are needed. The unique molecular features of endometriosis have been studied at the coding gene level. While the molecular components of endometriosis at the small RNA level have been studied extensively, other noncoding RNAs, such as long intergenic noncoding RNAs and the more recently discovered subset of long noncoding RNAs called circular RNAs, have been studied more limitedly. This review describes the molecular formation of long noncoding and the unique circumstances of the formation of circular long noncoding RNAs, their expression and function in endometriosis, and promising preclinical studies. Continued translational research on long noncoding RNAs, including the more stable circular long noncoding RNAs, may lead to improved therapeutic and diagnostic opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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24 pages, 831 KiB  
Review
Molecular Basis of Endometriosis and Endometrial Cancer: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives
by Milan Terzic, Gulzhanat Aimagambetova, Jeannette Kunz, Gauri Bapayeva, Botagoz Aitbayeva, Sanja Terzic and Antonio Simone Laganà
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22179274 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 9026
Abstract
The human endometrium is a unique tissue undergoing important changes through the menstrual cycle. Under the exposure of different risk factors in a woman’s lifetime, normal endometrial tissue can give rise to multiple pathologic conditions, including endometriosis and endometrial cancer. Etiology and pathophysiologic [...] Read more.
The human endometrium is a unique tissue undergoing important changes through the menstrual cycle. Under the exposure of different risk factors in a woman’s lifetime, normal endometrial tissue can give rise to multiple pathologic conditions, including endometriosis and endometrial cancer. Etiology and pathophysiologic changes behind such conditions remain largely unclear. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the pathophysiology of endometriosis and its potential role in the development of endometrial cancer from a molecular perspective. A better understanding of the molecular basis of endometriosis and its role in the development of endometrial pathology will improve the approach to clinical management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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10 pages, 659 KiB  
Review
The Inflammatory Role of Pro-Resolving Mediators in Endometriosis: An Integrative Review
by Cássia de Fáveri, Paula M. Poeta Fermino, Anna P. Piovezan and Lia K. Volpato
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 4370; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22094370 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
The pathogenesis of endometriosis is still controversial, although it is known that the inflammatory immune response plays a critical role in this process. The resolution of inflammation is an active process where the activation of endogenous factors allows the host tissue to maintain [...] Read more.
The pathogenesis of endometriosis is still controversial, although it is known that the inflammatory immune response plays a critical role in this process. The resolution of inflammation is an active process where the activation of endogenous factors allows the host tissue to maintain homeostasis. The mechanisms by which pro-resolving mediators (PRM) act in endometriosis are still little explored. Thus, this integrative review aims to synthesize the available content regarding the role of PRM in endometriosis. Experimental and in vitro studies with Lipoxin A4 demonstrate a potential inhibitory effect on endometrial lesions’ progression, attenuating pro-inflammatory and angiogenic signals, inhibiting proliferative and invasive action suppressing intracellular signaling induced by cytokines and estradiol, mainly through the FPR2/ALX. Investigations with Resolvin D1 demonstrated the inhibition of endometrial lesions and decreased pro-inflammatory factors. Annexin A1 is expressed in the endometrium and is specifically present in women with endometriosis, although the available studies are still inconsistent. Thus, we believe there is a gap in knowledge regarding the PRM pathways in patients with endometriosis. It is important to note that these substances’ therapeutic potential is evident since the immune and abnormal inflammatory responses play an essential role in endometriosis development and progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Advances in Endometriosis Research)
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