Immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D3 on gene expression of MDGF, EGF and PDGFB in endometriosis

Reprod Biomed Online. 2020 Nov;41(5):782-789. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.05.013. Epub 2020 May 26.


Research question: Endometriosis, an inflammatory disease, is assumed to be associated with an increased production of growth-related cytokines. Based on the emerging immunomodulatory role of vitamin D3 in different inflammatory conditions, this study aimed to examine its modulatory effect on the expression levels of the genes for platelet-derived growth factor-B (PDGFB), monocyte/macrophage-derived growth factor (MDGF, also known as PPBP) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) in peritoneal fluid mononuclear cells (PFMC) in women with and without endometriosis.

Design: PFMC from 10 women with endometriosis and 10 control participants were treated with vitamin D3.The gene expression levels of PDGFB, MDGF and EGF were measured 6, 24 and 48 h following vitamin D3 administration using real-time PCR.

Results: Gene expression levels of EGF and PDGFB were higher in the PFMC of women with endometriosis than the control group (P = 0.006, P < 0.001, respectively). Although MDGF expression showed an increase in the endometriosis group compared with non-endometriotic controls, no significant difference was found. Vitamin D3 significantly decreased EGF expression at 6, 24 and 48 h (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P = 0.007, respectively), MDGF at 24 and 48 h (P < 0.001 and P = 0.009, respectively) and PDGFB at 6 h (P = 0.047) in the endometriosis group. Vitamin D3 treatment had no significant effect on expression of the genes in the PFMC of non-endometriotic women.

Conclusions: The study concluded that PDGFB and EGF gene expression increases in endometriosis, and vitamin D3 could markedly decrease this expression, suggesting its therapeutic potential in endometriosis.

Keywords: Endometriosis; Epidermal growth factor (EGF); Monocyte/macrophage-derived growth factor (MDGF); Platelet-derived growth factor-B (PDGFB); Vitamin D3.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascitic Fluid / drug effects
  • Ascitic Fluid / metabolism
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology*
  • Endometriosis / genetics*
  • Endometriosis / metabolism
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / genetics*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • mesenchyme-derived growth factor
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Epidermal Growth Factor