More than hundreds of thousands of women worldwide suffer from endometriosis, but until now doctors do not know why the disorder happens. Experts at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have shared their opinions with us.
How does endometriosis start?
Meanwhile, scientists have identified the cellular activity that allows you to better understand the mechanisms of disease. The cells of the uterine lining – the endometrium – expand beyond the boundaries of the layer. Risks of endometriosis is influenced by genetics, as well as external factors and the inflammation.
Endometriosis symptoms are manifested in:
- painful menstruation;
- excessive bleeding;
- pains in the back, abdomen;
- fertility problems.
Endometriosis is treated with hormones, but it sometimes leads to drug menopause. In some cases, an operation is performed, but its effect is temporary.
Scientists analyzed the peritoneal fluid of 77 women suffering from different symptoms of endometriosis. Scientists evaluated the level of fifty proteins including cytokines in each sample. We are talking about the inflammatory compounds that regulate response to agents causing infection. But cytokines themselves provoke inflammation, even in situations where there are no pathogens.
The specialists have revealed a certain structure in the samples. It includes the activity of 13 cytokines, which are associated with damage in the ovaries and rectovaginal disorders. It has been proved that this structure has a negative effect on fertility. During further investigation it turned out that a key regulator was the c-jun protein. This protein participates in inflammatory processes. The structure we are talking about is the molecules released by macrophages (immune cells).
Scientists now need to figure out what triggers the immune response. To do this, experts are planning to perform an analysis of tissue samples taken from infertile women with endometriosis deeply affecting other organs and intestines.