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BACKGROUND - Hepatic endometriosis/uterus-like mass is rare and may be overlooked during hepatic cyst workups. We report a case of uterus-like mass, misdiagnosed as hepatic abscess.
CASE REPORT - A 47-year-old woman developed abdominal pain and vomiting. Infectious colitis with hepatic abscess was diagnosed, and remained antibiotic-refractory. Fine-needle aspiration and core biopsies showed benign contents. The patient presented to our institution with symptoms and normal blood work. Laparoscopic excision demonstrated a 1.4-cm cyst composed of endometrial glands (estrogen receptor+ and progesterone receptor+) and stroma (CD10+) with smooth muscle actin (SMA+), arranged in an organoid fashion. The patient, status-post hysterectomy, had no history or symptoms of endometriosis.
CONCLUSION - This rare case illustrates the merit of considering uterus-like mass/endometriosis in the differential diagnosis of antibiotic-refractory hepatic cysts. Cyst heterogeneity may confound needle biopsy. We report the first instance of a hepatic uterus-like mass, with a review of related entities, postulated histogenesis, and important clinical associations.
© The Author(s) 2014.
Progesterone action normally mediates the balance between anti-inflammatory and proinflammatory processes throughout the female reproductive tract. However, in women with endometriosis, endometrial progesterone resistance, characterized by alterations in progesterone responsive gene and protein expression, is now considered a central element in disease pathophysiology. Recent studies additionally suggest that the peritoneal microenvironment of endometriosis patients exhibits altered physiological characteristics that may further promote inflammation-driven disease development and progression. Within this review, we summarize our current understanding of the pathogenesis of endometriosis with an emphasis on the role that inflammation plays in generating not only the progesterone-resistant eutopic endometrium but also a peritoneal microenvironment that may contribute significantly to disease establishment. Viewing endometriosis from the emerging perspective that a progesterone resistant endometrium and an immunologically compromised peritoneal microenvironment are biologically linked risk factors for disease development provides a novel mechanistic framework to identify new therapeutic targets for appropriate medical management.
CONTEXT - Retinoic acid (RA) may promote survival or apoptosis of cells, depending on the levels of binding proteins: apoptosis-inducing cellular RA binding protein 2 (CRABP2), and cell survival-promoting fatty acid binding protein 5 (FABP5). Increased cellular uptake of retinol and altered actions of RA related to reduced expression of CRABP2 may contribute to the development of endometriosis. Recently statins have been shown to inhibit growth of human endometrial stromal (HES) cells and to reduce the number and size of endometriotic implants in experimental models of this disorder.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of the study was to determine whether effects of simvastatin on HES cells and experimental endometriotic implants are related to the modulation of the RA system.
METHODS - Effects of simvastatin and RA on proliferation and apoptosis of HES cells were evaluated. Expression of stimulated by RA 6 (STRA6), CRABP2, and FABP5 was determined by real-time PCR and Western blotting. Effects of simvastatin were also evaluated in a nude mouse model of human endometriosis.
RESULTS - Simvastatin potentiated an inhibitory effect of RA on growth of HES cells. In HES cells, simvastatin induced expression of STRA6 and CRABP2 but not FABP5. Similarly, simvastatin treatment of nude mice bearing human endometrial xenografts led to an increased expression of CRABP2 and STRA6 proteins in ectopic lesions.
CONCLUSIONS - Simvastatin interacts with the RA system, inducing the expression of the key protein regulating the uptake of retinol (STRA6) and the expression of apoptosis-promoting CRABP2. These effects may contribute to cooperative apoptosis-inducing effects of simvastatin and RA and support the examination of these compounds in the treatment of endometriosis.
OBJECTIVE - To examine whether dietary fish oil supplementation reduces development of spontaneous endometriosis-associated adhesions using an established model.
DESIGN - Laboratory-based study.
SETTING - Medical center research laboratory. PATIENT(S)/ANIMAL(S): Disease-free women of reproductive age and nude mice.
INTERVENTION(S) - Women were not provided any intervention. Mice were randomized to receive fish oil supplementation or control diet.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S) - Experimental endometriosis was established in mice via injection of human endometrial tissue within 16 hours of ovariectomy. Mice were provided standard or menhaden fish oil-supplemented diets for ≥ 2 weeks before initiation of experimental endometriosis and until killing them 1 week later. At necropsy, mice were examined for the presence and extent of adhesions and endometriotic-like lesions. Tissues were excised and morphologically characterized.
RESULT(S) - Adhesions/lesions were reduced in mice provided with dietary fish oil compared with control animals. Leukocytes were more numerous within the adhesions/lesions of the mice maintained on the standard diet compared with animals provided with fish oil. As indicated by staining intensity, collagen deposition was greater at adhesion sites within control mice compared with fish oil-supplemented animals.
CONCLUSION(S) - Wound-healing associated with surgery created an inflammatory peritoneal microenvironment that promoted the development of both experimental endometriosis and adhesions in a murine model. Targeting excessive inflammation with fish oil may be an effective adjuvant therapy to reduce the development of postsurgical adhesions related to endometriosis.
Copyright © 2013 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - To examine the differentiation-related expression of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1-R) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein in endometrial tissue obtained from women with and without endometriosis and to determine the impact of acute 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) exposure on CB1-R gene expression in isolated endometrial stromal cells.
DESIGN - Laboratory-based study.
SETTING - University-affiliated medical center.
PATIENT(S) - Women with and without endometriosis undergoing volunteer endometrial biopsies after informed consent.
INTERVENTION(S) - None.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S) - Analysis of in vivo CB1-R mRNA and protein expression in human endometrial tissues and mRNA expression in isolated stromal cells after exposure to TCDD or a progesterone receptor antagonist (onapristone).
RESULT(S) - Expression of CB1-R mRNA and protein was highest during the progesterone-dominated secretory phase in control samples, but expression was minimal in the endometrial tissues acquired from women with endometriosis, regardless of the cycle phase. Although progesterone was found to induce CB1-R mRNA expression in endometrial stromal cells from control donors, steroid-induced expression of this gene was inhibited by cotreatment with either TCDD or onapristone.
CONCLUSION(S) - Our studies reveal a role for the anti-inflammatory actions of progesterone in regulating endometrial cannabinoid signaling, which is disrupted in women with endometriosis. We demonstrate for the first time that acute TCDD exposure disrupts cannabinoid signaling in the human endometrium.
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Recently we reported that statins, the competitive inhibitors of the key enzyme regulating the mevalonate pathway, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR), decrease proliferation of human endometrial stromal (HES) cells. Furthermore, we found that simvastatin treatment reduces the number and the size of endometrial implants in a nude mouse model of endometriosis. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of simvastatin on HES cell invasiveness and on expression of selected genes relevant to invasiveness: matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), MMP3, tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP2), and CD44. Because statin-induced inhibition of HMGCR reduces the production of substrates for isoprenylation-geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) and farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP)-the effects of GGPP and FPP were also evaluated. Simvastatin induced a concentration-dependent reduction of invasiveness of HES cells. This effect of simvastatin was abrogated by GGPP but not by FPP. Simvastatin also reduced the mRNA levels of MMP2, MMP3, and CD44, but increased TIMP2 mRNA; all these effects of simvastatin were partly or entirely reversed in the presence of GGPP. The present findings provide a novel mechanism of action of simvastatin on endometrial stroma that may explain reduction of endometriosis in animal models of this disease. Furthermore, the presently described effects of simvastatin are likely mediated, at least in part, by inhibition of geranylgeranylation.
Statins are potent inhibitors of the endogenous mevalonate pathway. Besides inhibiting cholesterol biosynthesis, statins may also demonstrate anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is implicated in the attachment and invasion of endometrial cells to the peritoneal surface and growth of ectopic endometrium by inducing proliferation and angiogenesis. In this study, the effect of statins on monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) expression in endometriotic implants in nude mouse model and in cultured endometriotic cells was evaluated. In mouse model, simvastatin decreased MCP-1 expression in a dose-dependent manner in endometriotic implants (P < .05). Similarly, both simvastatin and mevastatin revealed a dose-dependent inhibition of MCP-1 production in cultured endometriotic cells (P < .01). This inhibitory effect of the statins on MCP-1 production was reversed by the downstream substrates of the mevalonate pathway. Moreover, statins decreased MCP-1 messenger RNA expression in cultured endometriotic cells (P < .05). In conclusion, statins exert anti-inflammatory effect in endometriotic cells and could provide a potential treatment of endometriosis in the future.
Endometriosis is a common, complex gynecologic disorder characterized by the presence of endometrial glands and stroma at extrauterine (ectopic) sites. In women who develop this disease, alterations in specific biological processes involving both the endocrine and immune systems have been observed, which may explain the survival and growth of displaced endometrial tissue in affected women. In the past decade, a considerable amount of research has implicated a role for alterations in progesterone action at both eutopic and ectopic sites of endometrial growth which may contribute to the excessive inflammation associated with progression of endometriosis; however, it remains unclear whether these anomalies induce the condition or are simply a consequence of the disease process. In this article, we summarize current knowledge of alterations within the immune system of endometriosis patients and discuss how endometrial cells from women with this disease not only have the capacity to escape immunosurveillance, but also use inflammatory mechanisms to promote their growth within the peritoneal cavity. Finally, we discuss evidence that exposure to an environmental endocrine disruptor, such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, can mediate the development of an endometrial phenotype that exhibits both reduced progesterone responsiveness and hypersensitivity to proinflammatory stimuli mimicking the endometriosis phenotype. Future studies in women with endometriosis should consider whether a heightened inflammatory response within the peritoneal microenvironment contributes to the development and persistence of this disease.
Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which the endometrial glands and stroma grow outside the uterus. The disease affects women's quality of life and is a common cause of infertility. In this review, we describe promising new developments in the field based on in vitro assays and rodent models, each of which has the potential to be beneficial in the treatment of this disease. We will specifically describe the role of anti-inflammatory drugs, selective estrogen, or progesterone modulators, statins, antiangiogenic agents, and the potential for targeting stem cells as likely methods to hone in and eliminate endometriosis. The most promising of these potential therapies are currently slated for further testing in both rodent and nonhuman primate trials.