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Progesterone Activator Involved in Endometriosis

Last Updated: May 04, 2009.

Women with endometriosis have impaired expression and cycle-dependent regulation of a progesterone receptor co-activator, which may explain progesterone resistance in endometrium from these women, according to a study published online April 23 in Endocrinology.

MONDAY, MAY 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women with endometriosis have impaired expression and cycle-dependent regulation of a progesterone receptor co-activator, which may explain progesterone resistance in endometrium from these women, according to a study published online April 23 in Endocrinology.

Lusine Aghajanova, M.D., and colleagues from the University of California in San Francisco compared the expression and function of Hic-5, a progesterone receptor co-activator, in human endometrium and endometrial stromal fibroblasts from 29 women with endometriosis and 30 women without endometriosis.

The researchers found that women without endometriosis had high expression of Hic-5 in stromal fibroblasts, which was regulated during the menstrual cycle and correlated with expression of the progesterone receptor; while Hic-5 expression was significantly reduced and was unregulated in women with endometriosis. Short-term treatment of stromal cells with the decidualizing stimulus cyclic AMP led to increased expression of Hic-5 only in women without endometriosis, while two-week treatment with the decidualizing stimulus progesterone modestly up-regulated Hic-5 only in women without endometriosis. Silencing Hic-5 only affected the expression of genes solely regulated by progesterone but not cyclic AMP.

"Together the data suggest that the proposed progesterone resistance in endometrium from women with endometriosis derives, in part, from impaired expression of the progesterone receptor co-activator, Hic-5, in endometrial tissue and cultured endometrial stromal fibroblasts," Aghajanova and colleagues conclude.

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