Estrogen- and Progesterone (P4)-Mediated Epigenetic Modifications of Endometrial Stromal Cells (EnSCs) and/or Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) in the Etiopathogenesis of Endometriosis
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AuthorSzukiewicz, Dariusz; Stangret, Aleksandra; Ruiz Ruiz, María Carmen; García Olivares, Enrique Fernando; Soritau, Olga; Susman, Sergiu; Szewczyk, Grzegorz
Endometrial stromal cellsMesenchymal stem/stromal cellsEtiopathogenesis of endometriosisEpigenetic modificationsEstrogen signalingEstrogen receptorProgesterone signalingProgesterone receptor
Szukiewicz, D., Stangret, A., Ruiz-Ruiz, C. et al. Estrogen- and Progesterone (P4)-Mediated Epigenetic Modifications of Endometrial Stromal Cells (EnSCs) and/or Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) in the Etiopathogenesis of Endometriosis. Stem Cell Rev and Rep (2021). [https://doi.org/10.1007/s12015-020-10115-5]
Endometriosis is a common chronic inflammatory condition in which endometrial tissue appears outside the uterine cavity. Because ectopic endometriosis cells express both estrogen and progesterone (P4) receptors, they grow and undergo cyclic proliferation and breakdown similar to the endometrium. This debilitating gynecological disease affects up to 15% of reproductive aged women. Despite many years of research, the etiopathogenesis of endometrial lesions remains unclear. Retrograde transport of the viable menstrual endometrial cells with retained ability for attachment within the pelvic cavity, proliferation, differentiation and subsequent invasion into the surrounding tissue constitutes the rationale for widely accepted implantation theory. Accordingly, the most abundant cells in the endometrium are endometrial stromal cells (EnSCs). These cells constitute a particular population with clonogenic activity that resembles properties of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs). Thus, a significant role of stem cell-based dysfunction in formation of the initial endometrial lesions is suspected. There is increasing evidence that the role of epigenetic mechanisms and processes in endometriosis have been underestimated. The importance of excess estrogen exposure and P4 resistance in epigenetic homeostasis failure in the endometrial/endometriotic tissue are crucial. Epigenetic alterations regarding transcription factors of estrogen and P4 signaling pathways in MSCs are robust in endometriotic tissue. Thus, perspectives for the future may include MSCs and EnSCs as the targets of epigenetic therapies in the prevention and treatment of endometriosis. Here, we reviewed the current known changes in the epigenetic background of EnSCs and MSCs due to estrogen/P4 imbalances in the context of etiopathogenesis of endometriosis.