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Fertil Steril. 2010 Jun;94(1):33-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.01.132. Epub 2009 Apr 25.

Eutopic endometrial interleukin-18 system mRNA and protein expression at the level of endometrial-myometrial interface in adenomyosis patients.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lin-Kou Medical Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, Republic of China.



To investigate the eutopic endometrial interleukin-18 (IL-18) system including interleukin-18 (IL-18), IL-18 receptor (IL-18R), and IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP), mRNA, and protein expression in patients with adenomyosis.


A clinical and molecular study.


Clinical and academic research setting in a university medical center.


Twenty-eight samples of human eutopic endometria were obtained from surgical specimens of normal cycling women undergoing hysterectomy for uterine adenomyosis (n = 19); the control group (n = 9) was women undergoing hysterectomy for benign reason including uterine fibroids.


Quantitative competitive polymerase chain reaction (QC PCR) and immunohistochemistry studies were performed.


The differences of the IL-18 system mRNA and the ratio of IL-18BP to IL-18 in the eutopic endometrium of uterine adenomyosis and control group were analyzed.


IL-18 system mRNA and protein expression was demonstrated in the eutopic endometrium of both adenomyosis and control women. Quantitative competitive PCR demonstrated that endometrial IL-18R mRNA and the ratio of IL-18BP to IL-18 were significantly increased in adenomyosis patients in comparison to the control group. Pearson's correlation showed a significant correlation between IL-18 and IL-18R in the eutopic endometrium of women with uterine adenomyosis, but not the control group.


The expression of the eutopic endometrial IL-18 system and the ratio of antagonist to agonist at the level of the endometrial-myometrial interface (EMI) may possibly be responsible for the pathologic process of adenomyosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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