The role of prostaglandin E2 in endometriosis

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Feb;28(2):134-8. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2011.588753. Epub 2011 Oct 17.


Endometriosis is a leading cause of infertility in women of reproductive age. It involves the occurrence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine endometrium, mainly in the peritoneal cavity. Prostaglandin E(2) is up regulated in the peritoneal cavity in endometriosis and is produced by macrophages and ectopic endometrial cells. This prostaglandin is involved in the pathophysiology of the disease and elicits cell signals via four receptor types. Prostaglandin E(2) increases estrogen synthesis by up regulating steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and aromatase. It inhibits apoptosis and up regulates fibroblast growth factor-9 (FGF-9) promoting cell proliferation. Prostaglandin E(2) affects leukocyte populations and promotes angiogenesis through its effect on estrogen and up regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Dienogest is a synthetic progestin targeting expression of genes involved in prostaglandin synthesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Dinoprostone / physiology*
  • Endometriosis / drug therapy
  • Endometriosis / physiopathology*
  • Estrogens / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology


  • Estrogens
  • Dinoprostone