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Endometriosis: The Role of Iron Overload and Ferroptosis.

Authors
  • Ng, Shu-Wing1, 2
  • Norwitz, Sam G3
  • Taylor, Hugh S4
  • Norwitz, Errol R5, 6
  • 1 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA.
  • 2 Mother Infant Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, USA.
  • 3 Washington University, St. Louis, USA.
  • 4 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, USA.
  • 5 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA. [email protected]
  • 6 Mother Infant Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Reproductive Sciences
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2020
Volume
27
Issue
7
Pages
1383–1390
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s43032-020-00164-z
PMID: 32077077
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Iron is an essential element for cell survival, and iron deficiency is a known risk factor for many reproductive disorders. Paradoxically, such disorders are also seen more commonly under conditions of iron excess. Here, we focus on the problem of iron overload in women's health, using endometriosis as a model system. We propose (i) that a primary defect in endometriosis is abnormal eutopic endometrium characterized by resistance to ferroptosis, a process of iron-mediated non-apoptotic programmed cell death, which allows cells spread via retrograde menstruation to survive, implant, and establish endometriotic lesions within the abdominal cavity, and (ii) that dysregulated iron homeostasis may be critical to the subsequent pathophysiology of endometriotic lesions with localized iron overload and inflammation. We further investigate the association between endometriosis and hypercholesterolemia and suggest that an interaction between the mevalonate cholesterol biosynthetic pathway and ferroptosis signaling may provide a molecular basis to explain how it is that, in some women, endometrial tissues survive and thrive under ferroptotic pressure, colonize at ectopic sites, and expand into endometriotic lesions.

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