In vivo analysis of angiogenesis in endometriosis-like lesions by intravital fluorescence microscopy

Fertil Steril. 2005 Oct;84 Suppl 2:1199-209. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.05.010.


Objective: To establish a novel endometriosis model that allows for repetitive in vivo analyses of angiogenesis in ectopic endometrial tissue.

Design: Intravital fluorescence microscopic study.

Setting: Institute for Clinical and Experimental Surgery, University of Saarland.

Animal(s): Female Syrian golden hamsters equipped with skinfold chambers.

Intervention(s): Large (0.5 mm2) and small (0.1 mm2) endometrial fragments were mechanically isolated and transplanted autologously into skinfold chambers of untreated hormonally synchronized or bilaterally ovariectomized hamsters.

Main outcome measure(s): Angiogenesis, vascularization, and microhemodynamics were analyzed over a 14-day period.

Result(s): In untreated controls, endometrial fragments developed complete microvascular networks during the experimental observation period. Interestingly, microvascular blood flow was higher in large than in small fragments. Histologic examinations revealed proliferating endometriosis-like lesions with dilated endometrial glands surrounded by a richly vascularized stroma. Vascularization of endometrial fragments in synchronized animals did not differ from that of untreated controls. In contrast, endometrial fragments in ovariectomized animals showed a delay in angiogenesis and a significantly decreased blood perfusion, indicating the essential role of ovarian estrogens for ectopic vascularization and perfusion of endometrial tissue.

Conclusion(s): This novel model of endometrial tissue transplantation is a useful experimental approach, not only to focus on the in vivo pathogenesis of endometriosis but also to develop antiangiogenic strategies for the treatment of this disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae
  • Endometriosis / pathology*
  • Endometrium / blood supply*
  • Endometrium / pathology*
  • Female
  • Mesocricetus
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology*