Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Uterine tumors, whether benign or malignant, are diagnosed in a significant portion of women and are associated with a number of co-morbidities that negatively impact quality of life. Uterine tumors can be derived from the epithelial (endometrial hyperplasia or carcinoma) and mesenchymal (leiomyoma, sarcoma) layers of the uterus. The exact etiologies of the various tumor types are yet to be defined. Collectively their development and progression often results from aberrant steroid hormone exposure or dysregulation of related growth factor signaling and apoptotic pathways, reflecting the role of steroid hormone-dependent signaling and survival pathways in the cycles of cell growth and involution that characterize normal uterine physiology. While molecular analyses of human tumors can identify candidate genetic and epigenetic lesions contributing to uterine tumor initiation and progression, in vivo genetic models are needed to establish the functional significance of such lesions and their contribution to tumorigenesis. For this purpose, genetically-engineered mouse models have proven valuable. Here we review genetically-modified mouse models that develop uterine tumors and compare their pathology, utility/feasibility, and discuss their clinical relevance.