Aromatase and Endometriosis

Serdar E. Bulun*, Zongjuan Fang, Gonca Imir, Bilgin Gurates, Mitsutoshi Tamura, Bertan Yilmaz, David Langoi, Sanober Amin, Sijun Yang, Santanu Deb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aromatase P450 (P450arom) is the key enzyme for biosynthesis of estrogen, which is an essential hormone for the establishment and growth of endometriosis. There is no detectable aromatase enzyme activity in normal endometrium; therefore, estrogen is not locally produced in endometrium. Endometriosis tissue, however, contains very high levels of aromatase enzyme, which leads to production of significant quantities of estrogen. Moreover, one of the best-known mediators of inflammation and pain, prostaglandin E2, strikingly induces aromatase enzyme activity and formation of local estrogen in this tissue. Additionally, estrogen itself stimulates cyclo-oxygenase-2 and therefore increases the formation of prostaglandin E2 in endometriosis. We were able to target this positive feedback cycle in endometriosis using aromatase inhibitors. In fact, pilot trials showed that aromatase inhibitors could decrease pelvic pain associated with endometriosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in reproductive medicine
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Keywords

  • Aromatase
  • Aromatase inhibitor
  • Endometriosis
  • Endometrium
  • Estrogen biosynthesis
  • Pelvic pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Physiology (medical)

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