IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/2782

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (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.

Open Access Article
The link between environmental toxicant exposure and endometriosis
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1 McMaster University, Reproductive Biology Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5
2 McMaster University, Reproductive Biology Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5

Academic Editor: Ali Akoum

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(4), 1578–1593; https://doi.org/10.2741/2782
Published: 1 January 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endometriosis: an enigmatic disease)
Abstract

Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease characterized by the growth of endometrial cells in ectopic locations. Although the etiology of endometriosis is unknown, several hypotheses have been proposed to explain its origin. Retrograde menstruation of endometrial cells into the peritoneum is the most widely accepted theory, however, this phenomenon occurs in approximately 90% of women while the prevalence of endometriosis is much lower. Hence, other factors are thought to contribute to the development of this disease, including exposure to environmental toxicants. Although the epidemiological evidence is equivocal, animal and experimental investigations provide a basis for the proposed association between dioxin and dioxin-like chemical exposure and endometriosis. However, the mechanism(s) underlying this potential association are poorly understood. Development of novel animal models that more reliably recapitulate the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of this disease provide exciting opportunities to further test the link between exposure to these chemicals and endometriosis. Moreover, differential expression of several novel genes that may be important in the disease provides new targets to test the actions of environmental toxicants in the pathobiology of endometriosis.

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