Estrogen metabolizing enzymes in endometrium and endometriosis

Dassen, H., Punyadeera, C., Kamps, R., Delvoux, B., Van Langendonckt, A., Donnez, J., Husen, B., Thole, H., Dunselman, G., & Groothuis, P. (2007) Estrogen metabolizing enzymes in endometrium and endometriosis. Human Reproduction, 22(12), pp. 3148-3158.

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Estradiol (E-2) is an important promoter of the growth of both eutopic and ectopic endometrium. The findings with regard to the expression and activity of steroidogenic enzymes in endometrium of controls, in endometrium of endometriosis patients and in endometriotic lesions are not consistent.


In this study, we have looked at the mRNA expression and protein levels of a range of steroidogenic enzymes [aromatase, 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (17 beta-HSD) type 1, 2 and 4, estrogen sulfotransferase (EST) and steroid sulfatase (STS)l in eutopic and ectopic endometrium of patients (n = 14) with deep-infiltrative endometriosis as well as in disease-free endometrium (n = 48) using real-time PCR and immunocytochemistry. In addition, we evaluated their menstrual cycle-related expression patterns, and investigated their steroid responsiveness in explant cultures.


Aromatase and 17 beta-HSD type 1 mRNA levels were extremely low in normal human endometrium, while mRNAs for types 2 and 4 17 beta-HSD, EST and STS were readily detectable. Only 17 beta-HSD type 2 and EST genes showed sensitivity to progesterone in normal endometrium. Types 1 and 2 17 beta-HSD and STS protein was detected in normal endometrium using new polyclonal antibodies.


In endometriosis lesions, the balance is tilted in favor of enzymes producing E2. This is due to a suppression of types 2 and 4 17 beta-HSD, and an increased expression of aromatase and type 1 17 beta-HSD in ectopic endometrium.

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66 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 77871
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Articles free to read on journal website after 12 months
Keywords: endometriosis, steroidogenic enzymes, aromatase, estrogen metabolism, endometrium, messenger-ribonucleic-acid, 17-beta-hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenase type-2, expression, stromal cells, menstrual-cycle, aromatase cytochrome-p450, dehydrogenase-activity, adenomyotic tissues, sulfatase activity, epithelial glands, steroid sulfatase
DOI: 10.1093/humrep/dem310
ISSN: 0268-1161
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 22 Oct 2014 00:11
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2015 05:20

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