Objective: To assess the effects of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) on adhesion of endometrial stromal cells to peritoneal mesothelial cells, a possible step leading to endometriosis.
Design: Analysis of cell adhesion in vitro.
Setting: University research laboratory.
Patients: Peritoneal fluid and biopsies were obtained from volunteers with regular cycles without endometriosis or endometrial pathology.
Interventions: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (0.1 to 1,000 U/mL) was added to nutrient media with the following supplements: 10% fetal calf serum, epidermal growth factor 20 ng/mL, and gentamicin 10 ng/mL.
Main outcome measures: Radioactivity of chromium-51 was used as a reflection of adherent stromal cells.
Results: The adherence of endometrial stromal cells to mesothelial cells was significantly increased by pretreatment of mesothelial cells with TNF-alpha.
Conclusions: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha may play a facilitory role in the development of endometriosis.