Expression of GnRH receptor gene in human ectopic endometrial cells and inhibition of their proliferation by leuprolide acetate

Raffaella Borroni, Anna Maria Di Blasio, Barbara Gaffuri, Roberta Santorsola, Mauro Busacca, Paola Viganò, Mario Vignali

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The present study was conducted to investigate whether GnRH-receptor (GnRH-R) gene is expressed in endometriosis ovarian implants and whether a GnRH-analogue (GnRH-a) may exert an effect on endometriosis cell proliferation in vitro. The presence of GnRH-R transcripts in ovarian endometriosis cells was assessed by reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and further confirmed by Southern blot analysis. GnRH-R mRNA was detected in all the 13 samples examined. In contrast, GnRH-R transcripts were not detectable in endometriosis-free peritoneal tissue. In the second part of the study, endometriosis cells were cultured for 9 days with different doses of leuprolide acetate (ranging from 0 to 10-5 M). In 4 out of 13 cases, a significant anti-proliferative effect was observed at doses of leuprolide acetate ranging from 10-9 to 10-5 M. In one case, a significant inhibition of cell proliferation was observed only at 10-5 M leuprolide acetate concentration. In contrast, the GnRH-a did not affect cell growth, regardless of the expression of GnRH-R transcripts and the given doses, in the remaining 8 experiments. To date, this is the first evidence indicating that GnRH-R mRNA is expressed in human ovarian endometriomas. Moreover, the inhibition of endometriosis cell proliferation induced by the GnRH-a in vitro suggests that, at least in some cases, this compound might exert a direct effect on endometriosis lesions. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 25 2000


  • GnRH-analogues
  • GnRH-receptor
  • Leuprolide acetate
  • Ovarian endometriosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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