Cause of Endometriosis and interesting facts about them!!
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium) is found outside the uterus, causing pelvic pain and/or infertility.
The new paper comes from a UK team studying the mechanisms behind pain in endometriosis, mostly in mice artificially induced to have endometriosis.
They found mice with endometriosis had higher levels of a type of white blood cell (called a macrophage) than healthy mice. This led to increased production of a growth hormone known as insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1.
When the levels of macrophages and IGF-1 were lowered, the mice behaved in ways that implied they had less pain.
While this was a very well-designed study and these insights might help us get closer to understanding why the pain in endometriosis seems to persist despite medical or surgical treatment
The researchers found evidence that IGF-1 was higher in both women and mice with endometriosis, and this rise was due to increased production by macrophages, which are associated with endometriosis.
These increased levels of IGF-1 seem to contribute to the pain experienced by mice with endometriosis. This is likely to occur because IGF-1 encourages nerve development, which makes that tissue more sensitive to pain.
It’s important to remember that mice are not just small, furry humans, so we need further studies to determine if these high levels of IGF-1 have the same contribution to pain in humans as in mice, and if reducing them has the same effect on pain that was observed in the mice experiments.
We also need to keep in mind that these mice had endometriosis for a relatively short time compared to the many years that women with endometriosis have the disease. There may be other changes occurring over the longer term that can’t be explored in these mice models.