In vitro effects of a small-molecule antagonist of the Tcf/ß-catenin complex on endometrial and endometriotic cells of patients with endometriosis

PLoS One. 2013 Apr 23;8(4):e61690. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061690. Print 2013.

Abstract

Background: Our previous studies suggested that aberrant activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signaling might be involved in the pathophysiology of endometriosis. We hypothesized that inhibition of Wnt/ß-catenin signaling might result in inhibition of cell proliferation, migration, and/or invasion of endometrial and endometriotic epithelial and stromal cells of patients with endometriosis.

Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a small-molecule antagonist of the Tcf/ß-catenin complex (PKF 115-584) on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion of endometrial and endometriotic epithelial and stromal cells.

Methods: One hundred twenty-six patients (78 with and 48 without endometriosis) with normal menstrual cycles were recruited. In vitro effects of PKF 115-584 on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and on the Tcf/ß-catenin target genes were evaluated in endometrial epithelial and stromal cells of patients with and without endometriosis, and in endometrial and endometriotic epithelial and stromal cells of the same patients.

Results: The inhibitory effects of PKF 115-584 on cell migration and invasion in endometrial epithelial and stromal cells of patients with endometriosis prepared from the menstrual phase were significantly higher than those of patients without endometriosis. Levels of total and active forms of MMP-9 were significantly higher in epithelial and stromal cells prepared from menstrual endometrium in patients with endometriosis compared to patients without endometriosis. Treatment with PKF 115-584 inhibited MMP-9 activity to undetectable levels in both menstrual endometrial epithelial and stromal cells of patients with endometriosis. The number of invasive cells was significantly higher in epithelial and stromal cells of endometriotic tissue compared with matched eutopic endometrium of the same patients. Treatment with PKF 115-584 decreased the number of invasive endometriotic epithelial cells by 73% and stromal cells by 75%.

Conclusions: The present findings demonstrated that cellular mechanisms known to be involved in endometriotic lesion development are inhibited by targeting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endometriosis / genetics*
  • Endometriosis / metabolism
  • Endometriosis / pathology
  • Endometrium / drug effects*
  • Endometrium / metabolism
  • Endometrium / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Menstruation
  • Perylene / analogs & derivatives*
  • Perylene / pharmacology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stromal Cells / drug effects*
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • TCF Transcription Factors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • TCF Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • TCF Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Wnt Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism
  • beta Catenin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • beta Catenin / genetics*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism

Substances

  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • PKF115-584
  • TCF Transcription Factors
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • Perylene
  • MMP9 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9

Grant support

This study was supported in part by Karl Storz Endoscopy & GmbH (Tuttlingen, Germany). There was no additional external funding received for this study. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.