Endometriosis is often associated with a chronic pelvic immuno-inflammatory process, which is closely related to disease pathogenesis and major symptoms. Our studies led to the detection of a marked imbalance between IL-1 and its natural inhibitor IL-1 receptor type 2 (IL1R2) in women with endometriosis. This points to a deficiency in the local control of IL-1 that, in view of the cytokine's elevated levels and potent proinflammatory, angiogenic, and growth-promoting effects, may contribute to endometriosis development. Using an in vivo model in which human endometrial tissue was inoculated into nude mice and left to establish before any further treatment, our data showed that sIL1R2 interferes with the capability of endometrial tissue to invade, grow, disseminate, and stimulate angiogenesis into the host tissue. sIL1R2 significantly down-regulated the expression of major cell adhesion receptors (αv and β3 integrins), matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and -9), and vascular endothelial cell growth factor. Interestingly, treatment with sILR2 (5 μg/kg) led to a concomitant upregulation of matrix metalloproteinases natural inhibitors (TIMP1 and TIMP2) and down-regulation of BclII, a potent anti-apoptotic protein. This creates an imbalance between pro- and anti-proteolytic and apoptotic factors and may further contribute to IL1R2 growth-inhibitory effects. This study provides evidence that sIL1R2 alters ectopic endometrial tissue growth, remodeling, and survival in vivo and may represent an interesting potential therapeutic tool.
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.