This is an important step that has just been taken in the fight against endometriosis. Researchers from Keio University (Tokyo) and Northwestern (Chicago) have successfully developed in vitro endometrial functional cells, which can replace dysfunctional uterine tissue.
Endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects today 1 in 10 women in childbearing age. The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. Under the influence of hormones (estrogen), during the cycle, the endometrium thickens for a potential pregnancy, and if there is no fertilization, it is damaged and bleeding. This is the rule. In women who have endometriosis cells will rise and migrate through the fallopian tubes. Tissues such as endometrial tissue that grows out of the uterus then cause lesions, adhesions, and ovarian cysts (endometrioma) in colonized organs. At present, several theories exist in the appearance of this disease, without fully explaining all forms of this disease. It is even common to say that there is no one but "endometriosis" because this disease does not develop in the same way from one woman to another.
If not there there is no definitive treatment For this pathology, a study published in early November in the journal Stem Cells Report brings new hope to all women with endometriosis. Researchers from Keio University (Tokyo) and Northwestern University (Chicago) have successfully developed in vitro endometrial functional cells, which can replace dysfunctional uterine tissue. This work can eventually lead to cell therapy endometriosis. "Very large. We pave the way for endometriosis treatment", The spirit of Serdar Bulun (Northwestern University), professor of midwifery and senior study author.
Towards an effective first treatment?
If healthy cells have been converted into cells of the liver, liver or pancreas, this is the first time a study has shown that they can also become uterine cells. According to research, damaged cell the uterus can indeed be replaced by healthy cells what is called "induced pluripotent". That is, they come from adult cells (already assigned to certain roles), reprogrammed to cells capable of becoming all types of body cells. Here, cells are taken from the skin and bone marrow of patients with endometriosis to be genetically engineered and become uterine cells in good health. These cells, transplanted into a woman's uterus with endometriosis, will then be able to reproduce and not be rejected by their immune system.
On the other hand, they respond positively to progesterone, a hormone that is secreted during the second half of the menstrual cycle and which allows the uterine lining not to grow too much. They thus remain in the endometrial tissue and are no longer released into the abdominal wall. This treatment based on cell therapy can in the long run stop pain. Also, this new healthy endometrium will more easily receive embryo implantation, thereby reducing risk of infertility in women affected by the disease. For now, research only shows that healthy cells react positively in the bodies of the women tested. The next step is to achieve replacement cells damaged by these healthy cells. If researchers still have jobs in front of them, this promising new study gives hope to women who suffer from endometriosis.
by Helena Ergisi