The Role of Oxidative Stress and Membrane Transport Systems during Endometriosis: A Fresh Look at a Busy Corner.Oxid Med Cell Longev 2018; 2018:7924021OM
Endometriosis is a condition characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity, leading to a chronic inflammatory reaction. It is one of the most widespread gynecological diseases with a 10-15% prevalence in the general female population, rising up to 30-45% in patients with infertility. Although it was first described in 1860, its etiology and pathogenesis are still unclear. It is now accepted that inflammation plays a central role in the development and progression of endometriosis. In particular, it is marked by an inflammatory process associated with the overproduction of an array of inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins, metalloproteinases, cytokines, and chemokines. In addition, the growth and adhesion of endometrial cells in the peritoneal cavity due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals lead to disease onset, its ensuing symptoms-among which pain and infertility. The aim of our review is to evaluate the role of oxidative stress and ROS in the pathogenesis of endometriosis and the efficacy of antioxidant therapy in the treatment and mitigation of its symptoms.