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OBJECTIVE - To test whether fragments of human endometrium transduced with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) cDNA and transplanted into nude mice can be noninvasively visualized.
DESIGN - A murine experimental model for human endometriosis.
SETTING - A biotechnology company.
ANIMAL(S) - Ovariectomized nude mice.
INTERVENTION(S) - Whole fragments of human endometrium were transduced in vitro by adenoviral infection with the GFP cDNA before transplantation into nude mice. Animals were noninvasively and repeatedly imaged before lesion collection.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S) - Fluorescence of GFP-expressing human endometrial fragments was evaluated before transplantation into animals. Development of endometriotic lesions was monitored through direct visualization of fluorescent tissue in the living animal or through conventional dissection.
RESULT(S) - GFP gene transfer into whole endometrial fragments can be performed, and a high proportion of cells express the reporter gene. Fluorescent endometrial fragments implant in nude mice and form endometriotic-like lesions, which can be directly visualized through the skin of living mice using a simple imaging device.
CONCLUSION(S) - This improved mouse model allows noninvasive and dynamic studies of lesion implantation and development to be conducted. In addition to helping better understand the pathophysiology of the disease, this model represents a valuable preclinical tool for testing the efficacy of new drugs targeting endometriosis, which should ultimately accelerate their development phase.