Enhanced miR-210 expression promotes the pathogenesis of endometriosis through activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3.Hum Reprod. 2015 Mar; 30(3):632-41.HR
What are the roles of the microRNA miR-210-an miRNA that is up-regulated in endometriotic cyst stromal cells (ECSCs)-in the pathogenesis of endometriosis?
Up-regulated miR-210 expression in ECSCs is involved in their proliferation, resistance to apoptosis and angiogenesis through signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY
In the pathogenesis of endometriosis, a number of roles for microRNAs (miRNAs) are becoming apparent.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION
ECSCs and normal endometrial stromal cells (NESCs) were isolated from ovarian endometriotic tissues (patients aged 24-40 years undergoing salpingo-oophorectomy or evisceration for the treatment of ovarian endometriotic cysts, n = 10) and the eutopic endometrial tissues without endometriosis (premenopausal patients aged 35-45 years undergoing hysterectomies for subserousal leiomyoma, n = 13), respectively.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS
We used a global gene expression microarray technique to identify downstream targets of miR-210, and we assessed the functions of miR-210 in the pathogenesis of endometriosis by using the miR-210-transfected NESCs.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE
Gene expression microarray analysis revealed that one of the key target molecules of miR-210 is STAT3. In the NESCs, in comparison to the control, miR-210 transfection resulted in the induction of cell proliferation (P < 0.0005), the production of vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) (P < 0.0005) and the inhibition of apoptosis (P < 0.05) through STAT3 activation [increased levels of mRNA (P < 0.0005), and protein (P < 0.005)]. In the ECSCs, inhibitors of STAT3 inhibited the cell proliferation and VEGF production (P < 0.05), and induced the apoptosis of these cells (P < 0.05).
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION
The roles of aberrant miR-210 expression were investigated only in the stromal component of ectopic and eutopic endometrium. Control endometrial tissues were obtained from premenopausal patients who had subserosal leiomyoma and NESC gene expression patterns may be altered in these women. Furthermore, the effects of STAT3 inhibitors were evaluated only in ECSCs and not in NESCs.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS
The present findings indicate that miR-210 induces NESCs to differentiate into the endometriotic phenotype and we speculate that up-regulated miR-210 expression in ECSCs is involved in the creation of the endometriosis-specific cellular dysfunctions through epigenetic mechanisms. The data indicate that STAT3 inhibitors may be promising candidates for the treatment of endometriosis.
STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS
This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (no. 13237327 to K.N., no. 25861500 to Y.K. and no. 23592407 to H.N.). There are no conflicts of interest to declare.