Researchers close in on cause of gynecological disease

October 9, 2013

For the first time, researchers have created a model that could help unlock what causes adenomyosis, a common gynecological disease that is a major contributor to women having to undergo hysterectomies.

In a two-step process, a team led by Michigan State University's Jae-Wook Jeong first identified a protein known as beta-catenin that may play a key role in the development of the . When activated, beta-catenin causes changes in certain cells in a woman's uterus, leading to adenomyosis.

Then Jeong, an associate professor in the College of Human Medicine's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, created a mouse model that may reveal useful targets for new treatments.

"Progress in the understanding what causes adenomyosis and finding potential drug treatments has been hampered by the lack of defined molecular mechanisms and animal models," Jeong said.

"These findings provide great insights into our understanding of the beta-catenin protein and will lead to the translation of animal models for the development of new therapeutic approaches."

The disease occurs when the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the (myometrium). Symptoms of the disease include menstrual bleeding, chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Most women with the disease require surgery, and 66 percent of are associated with it.

"This research offers hope to the millions of women who have adenomyosis and holds promise that a cure, besides hysterectomy, is on the horizon," said Richard Leach, chairperson of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

The research results were recently published in the Journal of Pathology. The work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society and World Class University Program at Seoul National University in South Korea.

Leach added the study highlights the groundbreaking research being done in collaboration with other internationally renowned research centers in women's health.

Explore further: For women with hysterectomies, estrogen may be a lifesaver after all

Related Stories

For women with hysterectomies, estrogen may be a lifesaver after all

July 18, 2013
The widespread rejection of estrogen therapy after the 2002 Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study has most likely led to almost 50,000 unnecessary deaths over the last 10 years among women aged 50 to 69 who have had a hysterectomy, ...

The 'choosy uterus': New insight into why embryos do not implant

September 18, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Fertility experts at the University of Southampton and University of Warwick have found new insights into why some fertilized eggs can embed in a uterus and why some do not.

Hysterectomy increases risk for earlier menopause among younger women

November 14, 2011
In a finding that confirms what many obstetricians and gynecologists suspected, Duke University researchers report that younger women who undergo hysterectomies face a nearly two-fold increased risk for developing menopause ...

Endometriosis treatments lower ovarian cancer risk

April 11, 2013
A novel study shows women who undergo surgical treatment for endometriosis have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. According to results published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the ...

Battling defiant leukemia cells

October 7, 2013
Two gene alterations pair up to promote the growth of leukemia cells and their escape from anti-cancer drugs, according to a study in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Hysterectomy may lead to arterial stiffening in postmenopausal women

June 13, 2012
Estrogen-deficient, postmenopausal women who have had their uterus removed appear to have stiffer arteries compared to similar women who have not had a hysterectomy, according to new research from the University of Colorado ...

Recommended for you

Study shows a significant ongoing decline in sperm counts of Western men

July 25, 2017
In the first systematic review and meta-analysis of trends in sperm count, researchers from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ...

Women exposed to smoke while in womb more likely to miscarry

July 13, 2017
Women exposed to cigarette smoke while in their mothers' wombs are more likely to experience miscarriage as adults, according to new research from the University of Aberdeen.

Lack of a hormone in pregnant mice linked to preeclampsia

June 30, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from Singapore, the Netherlands and Turkey has isolated a hormone in pregnant mice that appears to be associated with preeclampsia—a pregnancy-related condition characterized by ...

Aspirin reduces risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women

June 28, 2017
Taking a low-dose aspirin before bed can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, which can cause premature birth and, in extreme cases, maternal and foetal death.

The biology of uterine fluid: How it informs the fetus of mom's world

June 22, 2017
A developing fetus bathes in a mixture of cellular secretions and proteins unique to its mother's uterus. Before fertilization, the pH of uterine fluid helps create a conducive environment for sperm migration, and afterward, ...

New clues in puzzle over pre-eclampsia and cholesterol regulation

June 21, 2017
Scientists studying a mystery link between the dangerous pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia and an increased risk of heart disease in later life for both mother and child have uncovered important new clues.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.