Woman in a Dish from San Antonio Helps to Uncover Endometriosis Puzzle

At the U of T Health Science center they have developed a fascinating fake endometriosis patient in a Petri dish. They have figured out how to grow a pelvic lining in this dish and then study the behavior of uterine lining cells from women with endometriosis and women without endometriosis. They did this to try to understand why virtually all women menstruate internally-- with the menstrual blood flowing out the fallopian tubes, as well as the way we normally expect menstrual bleeding-- yet only about 5-10% of patients will develop endometriosis from the shed uterine lining tissue as it is exposed to the pelvic lining tissue. Endometriosis tissue is just plain different. The cells can invade, they have some resistance to cell death (aptosis), they differ in hormone production, and even have different immune properties. And it turns out that women with endometrosis have much stickier cells. It's this stickiness they postulate the lining cells take up residence behind the uterus and become painful endometriosis. They have theories as to why. The San Antonio group discovery showed very different genetic make up with respect to this sticky stuff called Hyaluronic Acid.And in the same issue of Fertility and Sterility Dr. Juliana Meola and her research team from Sao Paulo showed changes in over 290 genes in endometriosis tissue. So our woman in a dish has many more ways she can be studied to understand the nature of the condition. What GynoGab wonders is did these cells begin genetically different, or did something incite them to be genetically different. And maybe if we could identify this switch early enough we could change it!

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