The link between immunity, autoimmunity and endometriosis: a literature update

Autoimmun Rev. 2018 Oct;17(10):945-955. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2018.03.017. Epub 2018 Aug 11.


Endometriosis (EMS), an estrogen-dependent inflammatory disorder affects approximately 5-10% of the general female population of reproductive age and 20-90% of women with pelvic pain and infertility. Many immunological factors are known to contribute significantly to the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of EMS, and both chronic local inflammation and autoantibodies in EMS shares many similarities with autoimmune diseases (AD). However, the autoimmune etiology in EMS remains controversial, and its evidence on autoimmune basis may be limited. Here we aim to review the current understanding between autoimmunity and EMS to provide important knowledge to develop future potential immunomodulatory therapy for the treatment of EMS.

Keywords: Autoantibodies; Autoimmune disease (AD); Complement (C); Cytokines; Endometriosis (EMS); Immune escape; Immunomodulators.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Endometriosis / immunology*
  • Endometriosis / pathology*
  • Endometriosis / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology


  • Cytokines