Comparative immunohistochemical studies of endometriosis lesions and endometriotic cysts

Fertil Steril. 2002 Oct;78(4):820-4. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(02)03345-9.


Objective: To compare immunohistochemical staining patterns in noncystic and cystic endometriosis lesions.

Design: Experimental.

Setting: Archived pathology material in an academic research environment.

Patient(s): Endometriosis tissues from the pathology archives including slide tissue sections and blocks.

Intervention(s): None; this was a retrospective study.

Main outcome measure(s): Immunohistochemical staining of the tissues was performed using anti-bcl-2, anti-p53, anti-matrix metalloproteinase IX, and anti-collagen VI antibodies. Staining was qualitatively assessed in terms of extent and intensity.

Result(s): p53 showed no staining in both groups. Anti-bcl-2 stained 100% (30/30) of endometriosis lesions compared with only 23% (7/30) of endometriotic cysts (P<.0001), and anti-matrix metalloproteinase IX stained 85% (23/27) of endometriosis lesions and only 39% (14/36) of endometriotic cysts (P=.0003). Anti-collagen VI, however, stained only 6% (2/35) of endometriosis lesions and 75% (21/28) of endometriotic cysts (P<.0001).

Conclusion(s): Compared with endometriosis lesions, endometriotic cysts display different expression of proteins with relative overexpression of collagen VI and underexpression of bcl-2 and metalloproteinase IX. This report is the first comparative immunohistochemical study showing these differences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Collagen Type VI / analysis
  • Endometriosis / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / analysis
  • Ovarian Cysts / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis


  • Collagen Type VI
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9