Cellular Components Contributing to Fibrosis in Endometriosis: A Literature Review

Paola Viganò, Jessica Ottolina, Ludovica Bartiromo, Giulia Bonavina, Matteo Schimberni, Roberta Villanacci, Massimo Candiani

Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Vol 27, No 2, February 2020

ABSTRACT Endometriosis-related fibrosis represents a complex phenomenon with underlying mechanisms yet to be clarified. Fibrosis is consistently present in all disease forms and contributes to classic endometriosis-related symptoms of pain and infertility. The purpose of this literature review was to examine the role of various cellular populations and biologic mechanisms and signaling pathways in inducing fibrogenesis of endometriotic lesions. A search was performed through PubMed and MEDLINE for animal and human studies published in English in the last 23 years that examined fibrosis in superficial, ovarian, and deep infiltrating endometriosis. The main cell types found to be involved in the development of fibrosis were platelets, macrophages, ectopic endometrial cells, and sensory nerve fibers. Interactions among each of the cell types contribute to the production of fibrosis through the production of soluble factors, mostly transforming growth factor-b but also other cytokines and neuropeptides. Cell types known to be critical to the pathophysiology of endometriosis also contribute to fibrogenesis, thus supporting the theory that fibrosis is an inherent part of endometriosis. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology (2020) 27, 287−295. © 2019 AAGL. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Endometrium; Macrophages; Peritoneum; Platelets


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