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Endometriosis is associated with aberrant endometrial expression of telomerase and increased telomere length

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gabriele Saretzki, Dr Carmen Martin-Ruiz, Professor Thomas von Zglinicki

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: In order to test our hypothesis that endometriosis is associated with abnormal expression of telomerase and telomere lengthening in endometrium, we assessed endometrial expression of the human telomerase enzyme and telomere length (TL). METHODS: This prospective pilot study, included 29 women with symptomatic, surgically diagnosed endometriosis (Group 1) and 27 healthy, fertile, symptom-free women without endometriosis (Group 2, confirmed by laparoscopy). Seventeen women in Group 1 and 15 women in Group 2 had endometrial biopsies taken on Day 21 ± 2 of the cycle. A further 12 women in each group were biopsied on Day 26 ± 2. Telomerase and estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Mean TL was determined by quantitative PCR. RESULTS: The endometria of fertile healthy women showed either weak or no telomerase immunoreactivity throughout the luteal phase. Immunostaining for telomerase was significantly increased during the implantation window and the premenstrual endometria of women with endometriosis (P < 0.0001). This was associated with a loss of stromal and vascular ERβ immunostaining (P < 0.05). The mean TL were significantly longer in endometria of women with endometriosis during the implantation window (P = 0.005), indicating the biological relevance of our novel finding of telomerase in benign endometrium. There was positive correlation of the circulating estradiol with peripheral blood TL in women. CONCLUSIONS: We speculate that aberrant endometrial expression of telomerase mediates alterations in cell fate that enhance proliferation, contributing to the pathogenesis of endometriosis. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Hapangama DK, Turner MA, Drury JA, Quenby S, Saretzki G, Martin-Ruiz C, Von Zglinicki T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Reproduction

Year: 2008

Volume: 23

Issue: 7

Pages: 1511-1519

ISSN (print): 0268-1161

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2350

Publisher: Oxford University Press

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/den172

DOI: 10.1093/humrep/den172

PubMed id: 18456668


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