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eISSN: 1643-3750

In Vitro and In Vivo Effects of Tumor Suppressor Gene PTEN on Endometriosis: An Experimental Study

Juan Lv, Qiaoying Zhu, Xuemei Jia, Ningzhu Yu, Qian Li

State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Gynecology, Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:3727-3736

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.901091

Available online:

Published: 2016-10-16

BACKGROUND: Endometriosis can cause dysmenorrhea and infertility. Its pathogenesis has not yet been clarified and its treatment continues to pose enormous challenges. The protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTEN) gene is a tumor suppressor gene. The aim of this study was to investigate the role and significance of PTEN protein in the occurrence, development, and treatment of endometriosis through changes in apoptosis rate, cell cycle, and angiogenesis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: PTEN was overexpressed and silenced in lentiviral vectors and inserted into primary endometrial cells. The changes in cell cycle and apoptosis in the different PTEN expression groups were evaluated using flow cytometry. Vessel growth mimicry was observed using 3-dimensional culture. A human-mouse chimeric endometriosis model was constructed using SCID mice. Hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunohistochemistry were used to detect pathological changes in ectopic endometrial tissues and the expression of VEGF protein in a human-mouse chimeric endometriosis mouse model.
RESULTS: PTEN overexpression significantly increased apoptosis and inhibited the cell cycle compared with the silenced and control groups. Furthermore, cells expressing low PTEN levels were better able to undergo vasculogenic mimicry, and exhibited significantly increased angiogenesis compared to cells overexpressing PTEN. We found that ectopic foci were more easily formed in the endometrial tissue of SCID mice with low PTEN expression, and the VEGF expression in this group was relatively high.
CONCLUSIONS: PTEN inhibits the occurrence and development of endometriosis by regulating angiogenesis and the apoptosis and cell cycle of endometrial cells; therefore, we propose that the PTEN gene can be used to treat endometriosis.

Keywords: Angiogenesis Inducing Agents, Apoptosis, Cell Cycle, Endometriosis, PTEN Phosphohydrolase, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A