PROBLEM: Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with diverse immunologic disturbances. Cell adhesion molecules are essential for the development of immune and inflammatory reactions. This study was conducted to investigate whether or not serum and peritoneal levels of soluble cell adhesion molecules are altered in women with endometriosis.
METHOD OF STUDY: The study group comprised five women with moderate-to-severe endometriosis. Eight healthy women with a normal diagnostic laparoscopy served as controls. Serum and peritoneal fluid samples from both groups were analyzed for the soluble isoform of intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), endothelial selectin (sES), and platelet selectin (sPS).
RESULTS: Serum levels of sICAM-1 were significantly increased in women with endometriosis (median levels: 410.4 ng/mL; range: 233.9 ng/mL–598.4 ng/mL vs. 235.7 ng/mL; range: 187.4 ng/mL–323.7 ng/mL; P=0.02). Although the levels of sVCAM-1, sES, and sPS in both samples were higher in the study group, the differences did not reach significance.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest a role of ICAM-1 in the pathophysiology of endometriosis. However, the role of other investigated cell adhesion molecules should be confirmed by further studies.