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Mucosal Immunol. 2013 May;6(3):439-50. doi: 10.1038/mi.2013.9. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

The role of lipoxin A4 in endometrial biology and endometriosis.

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Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Versoix, Switzerland.


Lipoxin A4 (LXA4), an endogenous anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory mediator studied in many disease states, is recently appreciated as a potentially significant player in the endometrium. This eicosanoid, synthesized from arachidonic acid via the action of lipoxygenase enzymes, is likely regulated in endometrial tissue during the menstrual cycle. Recent studies revealed that LXA4 acts as an estrogen receptor agonist in endometrial epithelial cells, antagonizing some estrogen-mediated activities in a manner similar to the weak estrogen estriol, with which it shares structural similarity. LXA4 may also be an anti-inflammatory molecule in the endometrium, though its precise function in various physiological and pathological scenarios remains to be determined. The expression patterns for LXA4 and its receptor in the female reproductive tract suggest a role in pregnancy. The present review provides an oversight of its known and putative roles in the context of immuno-endocrine crosstalk. Endometriosis, a common inflammatory condition and a major cause of infertility and pain, is currently treated by surgery or anti-hormone therapies that are contraceptive and associated with undesirable side effects. LXA4 may represent a potential therapeutic and further research to elucidate its function in endometrial tissue and the peritoneal cavity will undoubtedly provide valuable insights.

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