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09-01-2011 | Gynaecology | Article

HOXA10 gene gene linked to etiology of endometriosis


Journal abstract

MedWire News: The homeobox (HOX)A10 gene may be related to the embryogenic etiology of endometriosis and its associated infertility, suggest findings from a review.

"To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease, it has become necessary to determine the aspects of its etiology that are not explained by the retrograde menstruation theory," say Alysson Zanatta (Hospital das Clinicas, São Paulo, Brazil) and co-authors.

The researchers therefore reviewed the function of HOXA10 and its relationship to the pathogenesis of endometriosis, focusing on the most recent clinical and laboratory findings.

Research shows that HOXA10 gene expression occurs in a cyclical manner within the endometrium, with maximal rises occurring during the window of implantation. Women with endometriosis, however, do not show the expected mid-luteal rise of HOXA10 expression, "which might explain the infertility observed in many of these patients," say Zanatta et al.

Furthermore, an experimental endometriosis model showed alterations in the methylation pattern and expression of HOXA10 in eutopic endometrium, with recent studies demonstrating HOXA10 expression of endometriotic foci outside the Müllerian tract.

The team concludes: "It is possible that the manipulation of endometrial HOXA10 gene expression could improve implantation rates in patients with endometriosis-associated infertility.

"Furthermore, in patients with endometriosis, surgical excision might restore the normal expression of HOXA10 in the eutopic endometrium."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Ingrid Grasmo