Role of Versican in the Pathogenesis of Peritoneal Endometriosis

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Sampson's theory cannot explain why only some cycling women develop peritoneal endometriosis. Few studies have focused on the pelvic peritoneum, which receives regurgitated endometrial tissues. We hypothesized that molecular alterations in the peritoneum are involved in the development of peritoneal endometriosis and conducted a microarray analysis to compare macroscopically normal peritoneum sampled from women with peritoneal endometriosis (endometriotic peritoneum) and those without (non-endometriotic peritoneum). Versican, a major proteoglycan component of the extracellular matrix, is one of the molecules up-regulated in endometriotic peritoneum.


To investigate the role of versican in peritoneal endometriosis.

Design, Patients, and Main Outcome Measure:

Endometriotic peritoneum and non-endometriotic peritoneum were subjected to RT-PCR, immunostaining, and Western blotting. The versican V1 isoform was stably transfected into Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO-V1), and the effects of CHO-V1-derived conditioned medium (V1-CM) on primary human endometrial stromal cells were investigated with attachment, invasion, and proliferation assays. The effects of peritoneal fluid collected from endometriotic women (endometriotic PF) or cytokines/growth factors, which were shown to be elevated in endometriotic PF, on versican expression in a human peritoneal cell line (HMrSV5) were also examined.


Versican V1 expression levels were significantly higher in endometriotic peritoneum. In vitro, V1-CM promoted attachment to the HMrSV5 cell monolayer as well as the Matrigel invasion of endometrial stromal cells. Although versican V1 expression was up-regulated by TGF-β1 in HMrSV5 cells, it remained unchanged in endometriotic PF.


Our results suggest the involvement of peritoneal versican in the development of peritoneal endometriosis.

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