While there was no long-term treatment for endometriosis, researchers found that defective uterine cells responsible for the disease could be replaced by healthy stem cells.
While the disease affects one in 10 women on average, endometriosis is the subject of much research to better understand and treat. For the moment, no truly effective treatment has yet been discovered, even though two promising molecules have been developed by US researchers to reduce inflammation. But a study, published November 1 in the Stem Cells Report, may well revive the hope to cure this pathology. Researchers at Northwestern University (USA) have found that defective endometrial cells can be replaced by healthy cells.
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The hope of induced pluripotent cells The endometrium is the mucosa that covers the inner lining of the uterus. In the case of endometriosis, its tissues migrate abnormally and during the menses to other organs, such as the ovaries, the digestive system, the kidneys … This migration is due to defective cells, which do not respond normally to the diffusion of a hormone of "implantation", progesterone. This creates an inflammation of the tissues and sharp pain, disabling for women who suffer. In some cases, adhesions between the organs even lead to infertility.According to the latest research, defective cells of the uterus – the "endometrial stromal fibroblasts" (ESF) – could be replaced by healthy cells – called "cells induced pluripotent diseases "(IPS). These are stem cells, obtained from specialized adult cells that have been reprogrammed genetically. The cells are in fact removed and then "parameterized" to become immature cells, which can be "transformed" into different other types of cells. Towards an effective long-term treatment Healthy cells have been removed from the bone marrow of women suffering from endometriosis. After reprogramming and then self-transplantation, it turned out that the immune system of women did not reject these healthy cells. On the contrary, these have multiplied and responded positively to progesterone, since they are attached to the endometrial tissue. If women's bodies have responded positively to healthy cell transplantation, the next step is now to replace defective cells with healthy cells. "It's huge. We opened the door to the treatment of endometriosis, "said Dr. Serdar Bulun, lead author of the study that has been working on treatments for 25 years. This research opens the way to a new, effective long-term solution to cure this pathology. For now, women affected by endometriosis must undergo hormone therapy until their menopause. Surgical procedures can stop the progress of the disease, but it never disappears completely. "These women with endometriosis begin to suffer from the disease when they are very young," he continues. They end up being opioid dependent to calm the pain. This addiction destroys their social life and their academic potential. "Read also :