Increased telomerase activity and human telomerase reverse transcriptase mRNA expression in the endometrium of patients with endometriosis

Kim, C.M.; Oh, Y.J.; Cho, S.H.; Chung, D.J.; Hwang, J.Y.; Park, K.H.; Cho, D.J.; Choi, Y.M.; Lee, B.S.

Human Reproduction 22(3): 843-849


ISSN/ISBN: 0268-1161
PMID: 17077107
DOI: 10.1093/humrep/del425
Accession: 013250636

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Endometriosis is considered a frequent, benign disease with the ability to undergo neoplastic processes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the limitless replication potential of the endometrium in patients with endometriosis by examining human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) mRNA expression and telomerase activity. Endometrium samples from 30 endometriosis patients and 30 patients without endometriosis were obtained via endometrial biopsy. The expression of hTERT mRNA was determined by real-time RT-PCR assay, and telomerase activity was measured by telomerase repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay. The mean normalized hTERT (N hTERT) mRNA level was significantly higher in the endometriosis than in the control group (P = 0.013). The mean hTERT mRNA levels during the proliferative phase and during the secretory phase were higher in the endometriosis group than in the control group, although the difference was only significant for the secretory phase (P = 0.036). We found a prominent difference in endometrial telomerase activity between moderate-to-severe endometriosis and the control group (P = 0.048). The levels of hTERT mRNA and telomerase activity increased as the disease became more severe (P = 0.038, P = 0.016). This study showed the overexpression of hTERT mRNA and telomerase activity in the endometrium of endometriosis patients. These finding suggest that replication potential of endometrial cells may have an important role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis.