Molecular basis for treating endometriosis with aromatase inhibitors

Serdar E. Bulun*, Khaled M. Zeitoun, Kazuto Takayama, Hironobu Sasano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Although treatment of one unusually aggressive case of postmenopausal endometriosis with an aromatase inhibitor has been strikingly successful, large clinical trials are required to establish whether aromatase inhibitors will have a significant role in the medical management of endometriosis. Introduction of aromatase inhibitors into the treatment of endometriosis underscores the importance of basic research leading to the development of novel strategies in reproductive disorders. It was shown earlier that aromatase activity was not detectable in normal endometrium. Aromatase, however, is expressed inappropriately in endometriosis and stimulated by prostaglandin E2. Aromatase activity gives rise to local biosynthesis of oestrogen, which, in turn, stimulates prostaglandin E2 production, thus establishing a positive feedback cycle. This favours accumulation of oestrogen and prostaglandins in endometriosis, which is an inflammatory disorder dependent on oestrogen for growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction Update
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Aromatase
  • Aromatase inhibitor
  • Endometriosis
  • Endometrium
  • Oestrogen biosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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