Endometriosis as a detrimental condition for granulosa cell steroidogenesis and development: From molecular alterations to clinical impact

Ana Maria Sanchez, Edgardo Somigliana, Paolo Vercellini, Luca Pagliardini, Massimo Candiani, Paola Vigano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent chronic inflammatory condition that affects women in their reproductive period. Alterations in ovarian follicle morphology and function have been documented in affected women. The local intrafollicular environment has been as well examined by various groups. In the present review, we aimed to summarize the molecular evidence supporting the idea that endometriosis can negatively influence growth, steroidogenesis and the function of the granulosa cells (GCs). Reduced P450 aromatase expression, increased intracellular ROS generation and altered WNT signaling characterize the GCs of women with endometriosis. Clear evidence for an increased level of GC apoptosis has been provided in association with the downregulation of pro-survival factors. Other potentially negative effects include decreased progesterone production, locally decreased AMH production and lower inflammatory cytokine expression, although these have been only partially clarified. The possibility that endometriosis per se may influence IVF clinical results as a consequence of the detrimental impact on the local intrafollicular environment is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Aromatase
  • cells Apoptosis
  • Endometriosis
  • Granulosa
  • WNT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Medicine

Cite this