Endometrium is the mucosal lining of the uterus which expressed a cyclic process of proliferation, secretion and scaling under the control of hormones secreted by the ovary, and it also plays an indispensable role in the embryo implantation, the constitution of fetal-maternal interface, and the maintaining of pregnancy. In pathophysiological conditions, the abnormality or disorder of endometrium may lead to endometrium-related diseases, such as endometriosis, endometrium hyperplasia and even endometrial carcinoma. In recent years, more and more evidence revealed that autophagy exists in both the endometrium stroma cells and epithelial cells, and the activity of autophagy is changed in the different phases of menstruation, as well as in the endometrium-related diseases. Here, we aim to review the activity level, the regulatory factors and the function of autophagy in physiological and pathophysiological endometria, and to discuss the potential value of autophagy as a target for therapies of endometrium-related diseases.
Keywords: autophagy; endometrial carcinoma; endometriosis; endometrium.