Aberrant FOXP3 gene expression in eutopic and ectopic endometrium of infertile women with endometriosis
Background: Immunological theories suggest that changes in the immune system could prevent the ability to eliminate the endometrium of the pelvic cavity. In women with endometriosis is possible that changes in immunity mediated by T cells facilitate the implantation of endometrial fragments or cells in ectopic locations and recent studies have associated the FOXP3 gene with homeostasis of the immune system and the development of autoimmune diseases. We aimed to evaluate the expression of FOXP3 gene in both eutopic and ectopic endometrium of infertile women with endometriosis and controls.
Methods: A case-control study was performed comprising 25 infertile women with endometriosis and 44 fertile women without endometriosis. FOXP3 and GAPDH expression was measured by mRNA using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) based on TaqMan methodology. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the values between the groups.
Results: The results disclosed that mean expression of FOXP3 in eutopic endometrium of endometriosis group was significantly higher when compared to the control group (p=0,008), regardless the stage of the disease. Considering the samples of the ectopic endometrium, FOXP3 expression was also significantly higher in endometriosis group compared to the control group (p=0,004), regardless the stage of the disease.
Conclusion: the results of this study point to an association between the expression of FOXP3 and the genesis/progression of endometriosis.
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