Autoimmunity in Endometriosis: Relevance to Infertility
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 89–95, August 2000
How to Cite
MATHUR, S. P. (2000), Autoimmunity in Endometriosis: Relevance to Infertility. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 44: 89–95. doi: 10.1111/j.8755-8920.2000.440204.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Received 8 November 1999 Accepted 20 November 1999
- Cited By
- Alpha 2-HS glycoprotein;
PROBLEM: Endometriosis is a complicated multi-factorial disease. Genetic and immunologic factors play a key role in its pathophysiology. We were the first to describe endometrial and ovarian autoimmunity in women with endometriosis in 1981.
METHODS OF STUDY: ELISA and Western blot analysis. It is accepted that women with endometriosis have autoimmunity to endometrial, ovarian and nuclear antigens. We have now established that:
- 1The endometrial autoantigens to which the endometriosis patients have autoimmune reactions are endometrial transferrin and alpha 2-HS glycoprotein.
- 2Levels of antibodies to both these proteins are specifically elevated in women with endometriosis, thus making them important candidates for developing an endometrial antibody assay for a non-invasive diagnosis of endometriosis.
- 3Levels of transferrin and alpha 2-HS glycoprotein are significantly elevated in the peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis.
- 4Antibodies to transferrin and alpha 2-HS glycoprotein also inhibit in vitro sperm motility.
CONCLUSION: These data strongly suggest the possibility of endometrial autoantibodies playing an important role in the infertility often associated with endometriosis.