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Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2013 Jun 1;5:1033-56.

Angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and neurogenesis in endometriosis.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, Queen Elizabeth II Research Institute for Mothers and Infants, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


Endometriosis is a common, benign gynecological disease affecting 10 - 15% of reproductively aged women. It is characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue at sites outside the uterus. The most widely accepted theory of endometriosis pathogenesis proposes that shed menstrual endometrium can reach the peritoneum, implant and grow as endometriotic lesions. Angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and neurogenesis are implicated in successful ectopic establishment and the generation of endometriosis-associated symptoms. This review considers these processes as they occur in the eutopic endometrium and ectopic endometriotic lesions of women with endometriosis. Their regulation is inter-connected and complex. Dysregulation in endometriosis occurs on a background of accumulating evidence that endometriosis is an endometrial disease with underlying genetic influences and cross talk with endometriotic lesions. Understanding the roles of angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and neurogenesis in endometriosis pathophysiology is essential for the development of novel therapeutic approaches.

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