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Endocrinology. 2014 Apr;155(4):1489-97. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1977. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Endometriosis impairs bone marrow-derived stem cell recruitment to the uterus whereas bazedoxifene treatment leads to endometriosis regression and improved uterine stem cell engraftment.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences (S.S., H.N., H.S.T.), Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (H.S.T.), Yale University, New Haven Connecticut; and Pfizer (B.K.), Collegeville, Pennsylvania.


Endometriosis is a disease defined by the ectopic growth of uterine endometrium. Stem cells contribute to the generation of endometriosis as well as to repair and regeneration of normal endometrium. Here we demonstrate that the selective estrogen receptor modulator bazedoxifene (BZA), administered with conjugated estrogens (CEs), leads to regression of endometriosis lesions as well as reduction in stem cell recruitment to the lesions. Female mice underwent transplantation of male bone marrow. Endometrium was transplanted in the peritoneal cavity of half to create experimental endometriosis. Mice with or without experimental endometriosis were randomized to BZA/CE or vehicle treatment. Endometriosis lesions, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell engraftment of the lesions, and eutopic endometrium as well as ovarian stimulation were assessed. BZA treatment significantly reduced lesion size, gland number, and expression of proliferation marker proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Ovarian weight was not affected. Stem cells were recruited to the endometriosis lesions, and this recruitment was dramatically reduced by BZA/CE treatment. Stem cell engraftment was reduced in the uterus of animals with endometriosis; however the number of stem cells engrafting the uterus was completely restored by treatment with BZA/CE. Competition between endometriosis and the eutopic endometrium for a limited supply of stem cells and depletion of normal stem cells flux to the uterus is a novel mechanism by which endometriosis interferes with endometrial function and fertility. BZA/CE not only treats lesions of endometriosis, it also dramatically reduces stem cell recruitment to the lesions and restores stem cell engraftment of the uterine endometrium.

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