STUDY QUESTION: Are selective markers for the neuronal differentiation such as microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2) and synaptophysin (SYP) as well as the nerve growth factor (NGF) expressed by fibroids, myometrium and eutopic endometrium? SUMMARY ANSWER: Neuronal markers NGF, MAP-2 and SYP are highly expressed in fibroids compared with matched myometrium, and this neurogenic pathway is upregulated by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha in cultured smooth muscle cells (SMCs). WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Uterine fibroids or leiomyomas are the most common benign tumors, accounting for approximately one-third of hysterectomies. The present trend is to improve the medical treatment avoiding surgery, also for fertility sparing; hence, the pathogenic mechanisms are investigated, aiming to develop new therapeutic strategy. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This laboratory-based case-control study is focused on fibroids and myometrial specimens obtained between 2015 and 2017 from 15 women of reproductive age at the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. Leiomyomas, matched myometrium and endometrium from each woman were analyzed. Control endometrium was obtained from women undergoing surgery for ovarian cyst (n = 15). PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: qRT-PCR, western blotting and immunostaining were applied to evaluate the expression of neurogenic markers; the effects of TNF on NGF, MAP-2 and SYP expression in cultured SMCs from leiomyomas and matched myometrium were analyzed. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: qRT-PCR analyses using tissues from clinical patients showed that the levels of NGF, MAP-2 and SYP mRNA were significantly higher in uterine leiomyomas compared with their matched myometrium (P < 0.05), whereas only NGF was significantly increased in eutopic endometrium compared with healthy endometrium. In primary SMCs, isolated from fibroids or from the adjacent myometrium, NGF, MAP-2 and SYP mRNA expression were significantly increased by TNF treatment (P < 0.05). Finally, human endometrial stromal cells prepared from the endometrium of patients affected by uterine fibroids display higher TNF expression (P < 0.001). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: qRT-PCR analysis and immunofluorescence validation are robust methods demonstrating a clear upregulation of neurogenic factors in leiomyomas, even though additional studies are needed to establish a correlation between increased neuronal gene expression and degree of pain, as well as the involvement of inflammation mediators in the development of the neurogenic unhinge. Therefore, more in vivo studies are needed to confirm the results achieved from primary cultured SMCs. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The increased expression of neurogenic factors in uterine fibroids and endometrium may contribute to explain the painful stimuli. Accordingly, these neurogenic pathways may represent potential therapeutic avenues to treat the fibroid-related disorders. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This study was supported by research grants from the University of Siena. The authors declare no conflict of interest. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: N/A.

Increased expression of neurogenic factors in uterine fibroids / Luddi, A.; Marrocco, C.; Governini, L.; Semplici, B.; Pavone, V.; Capaldo, A.; Tosti, C.; Greco, S.; Luisi, S.; Ciarmela, P.; Petraglia, F.; Piomboni, P.. - In: HUMAN REPRODUCTION. - ISSN 0268-1161. - 34:11(2019), pp. 2153-2162. [10.1093/humrep/dez182]

Increased expression of neurogenic factors in uterine fibroids

Greco S.;Ciarmela P.;
2019-01-01

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION: Are selective markers for the neuronal differentiation such as microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2) and synaptophysin (SYP) as well as the nerve growth factor (NGF) expressed by fibroids, myometrium and eutopic endometrium? SUMMARY ANSWER: Neuronal markers NGF, MAP-2 and SYP are highly expressed in fibroids compared with matched myometrium, and this neurogenic pathway is upregulated by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha in cultured smooth muscle cells (SMCs). WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Uterine fibroids or leiomyomas are the most common benign tumors, accounting for approximately one-third of hysterectomies. The present trend is to improve the medical treatment avoiding surgery, also for fertility sparing; hence, the pathogenic mechanisms are investigated, aiming to develop new therapeutic strategy. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This laboratory-based case-control study is focused on fibroids and myometrial specimens obtained between 2015 and 2017 from 15 women of reproductive age at the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. Leiomyomas, matched myometrium and endometrium from each woman were analyzed. Control endometrium was obtained from women undergoing surgery for ovarian cyst (n = 15). PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: qRT-PCR, western blotting and immunostaining were applied to evaluate the expression of neurogenic markers; the effects of TNF on NGF, MAP-2 and SYP expression in cultured SMCs from leiomyomas and matched myometrium were analyzed. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: qRT-PCR analyses using tissues from clinical patients showed that the levels of NGF, MAP-2 and SYP mRNA were significantly higher in uterine leiomyomas compared with their matched myometrium (P < 0.05), whereas only NGF was significantly increased in eutopic endometrium compared with healthy endometrium. In primary SMCs, isolated from fibroids or from the adjacent myometrium, NGF, MAP-2 and SYP mRNA expression were significantly increased by TNF treatment (P < 0.05). Finally, human endometrial stromal cells prepared from the endometrium of patients affected by uterine fibroids display higher TNF expression (P < 0.001). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: qRT-PCR analysis and immunofluorescence validation are robust methods demonstrating a clear upregulation of neurogenic factors in leiomyomas, even though additional studies are needed to establish a correlation between increased neuronal gene expression and degree of pain, as well as the involvement of inflammation mediators in the development of the neurogenic unhinge. Therefore, more in vivo studies are needed to confirm the results achieved from primary cultured SMCs. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The increased expression of neurogenic factors in uterine fibroids and endometrium may contribute to explain the painful stimuli. Accordingly, these neurogenic pathways may represent potential therapeutic avenues to treat the fibroid-related disorders. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This study was supported by research grants from the University of Siena. The authors declare no conflict of interest. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: N/A.
2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/273403
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