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PLoS One. 2015 Nov 23;10(11):e0142590. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142590. eCollection 2015.

Determination of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Normal and Pathological Human Endometrial Biopsies and In Vitro Regulation of Gene Expression by Metals in the Ishikawa and Hec-1b Endometrial Cell Line.

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INSERM UMR-S 1124, Toxicologie Pharmacologie et Signalisation Cellulaire, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006 Paris, France.
Université Paris Descartes, Paris Sorbonne Cité, Centre universitaire des Saints-Pères, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006 Paris, France.
Institute of Urgent and Recovery Surgery named after V.K. Gusak of the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences, Donetsk; 47, avenue Leninsky, Donetsk- 83045, Ukraine.
Laboratoire de toxicologie biologique, AP-HP, Hôpital Lariboisière, 2, rue Ambroise Paré, 75475 Paris, France.
Service de chirurgie gynécologique et cancérologique, hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou, AP-HP, 20, rue Leblanc, 75015 Paris, France.
AP-HP, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, service de biochimie métabolique, 149, rue de Sèvres, 75743 Paris, France.


It is well known that several metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and vanadium, can mimic the effects of estrogens (metallo-estrogens). Nevertheless, there are only a few studies that have assessed the effects of toxic metals on the female genital tract and, in particular, endometrial tissue. In this context, we measured the concentrations of several trace elements in human endometrial tissue samples from individuals with hyperplasia or adenocarcinoma and in normal tissues. Hyperplasic endometrial tissue has a 4-fold higher concentration of mercury than normal tissue. Mercury can affect both the AhR and ROS signaling pathways. Thus, we investigated the possible toxic effects of mercury by in vitro studies. We found that mercury increases oxidative stress (increased HO1 and NQO1 mRNA levels) and alters the cytoskeleton in the human endometrial Ishikawa cell line and to a lesser extent, in the "less-differentiated" human endometrial Hec-1b cells. The results might help to explain a potential link between this metal and the occurrence of endometrial hyperplasia.

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