The Puzzle of Endometriosis Another Piece Locking Into Place

A Jersey girl, Dr. Sara Morelli, of the New Jersey Medical School, has teamed up with some researchers from Siena Italy to take another stab at unlocking the puzzle that is endometriosis.  She looked into the hormone relaxin. It's presence in the lining tissue of the uterus, how it varies during the cycle and whether it varies whether a woman has endometriosis or not. Sure enough, a clue! The women with endometriosis, who had implants of the tissue in the abdomen had decreased relaxin. Why is this important? Relaxin is a potent inhibitor of the invasion molecules MMP. MMPs are likely the end pathway by which the tissue of endometriosis invades and burrows into the lining of the abdomen. We have more relaxin around when we are in our secretory (progesterone) phase, and lots more when we are pregnant! So this piece of the puzzle seems to have a nice crisp snap into place when thinking about how and why endometriosis either progresses or regresses during phases of a woman's life.

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