Endometriosis research: animal models for the study of a complex disease

J Reprod Immunol. 2010 Nov;86(2):141-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2010.05.001. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


Endometriosis is a common gynaecological disease that is characterized and defined as the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, causing painful periods and subfertility in approximately 10% of women. After more than 50 years of research, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the development and establishment of this condition. Animal models allow us to study the temporal sequence of events involved in disease establishment and progression. Also, because this disease occurs spontaneously only in humans and non-human primates and there are practical problems associated with studying the disease, animal models have been developed for the evaluation of endometriosis. This review describes the animal models for endometriosis that have been used to date, highlighting their importance for the investigation of disease mechanisms that would otherwise be more difficult to elucidate, and proposing new alternatives aimed at overcoming some of these limitations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research / methods
  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Endometriosis* / metabolism
  • Endometriosis* / pathology
  • Endometriosis* / physiopathology
  • Endometrium* / metabolism
  • Endometrium* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans