Objective: To evaluate the effect of uterine leiomyomas on the endometrium using molecular markers of endometrial receptivity: HOXA10, HOXA11, LIF, and BTEB1.
Design: Case-control study.
Setting: University medical center.
Patient(s): Thirty reproductive-aged women with submucosal, intramural, or no uterine myomas who underwent hysteroscopy or hysterectomy.
Intervention(s): Proliferative phase endometrial sampling was performed at the time of surgery. In uteri with a submucosal myoma, directed endometrial biopsies were obtained over the myoma and over normal myometrium.
Main outcome measure(s): Endometrial HOXA10 expression was evaluated as a primary endpoint using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. HOXA11, BTEB1, and LIF were evaluated using real-time RT-PCR.
Result(s): Endometrial HOXA10 and HOXA11 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression were significantly decreased in uteri with submucosal myomas compared with controls and with uteri with intramural myomas. A similar trend was seen in BTEB1 mRNA expression; however, no difference was found in LIF mRNA expression. Immunohistochemistry localized the decrease in endometrial HOXA10 protein expression to stroma. In the presence of a submucosal myoma, there were no regional differences in gene expression.
Conclusion(s): The molecular mechanism by which submucosal myomas adversely affect reproduction includes a global decrease in endometrial HOX gene expression, not simply a focal change over the myoma. This may explain the reproductive dysfunction observed with submucosal myomas.
Copyright 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.