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.
Apoptosis plays a critical role in maintaining tissue homeostasis and represents a normal function to eliminate excess or dysfunctional cells. Accumulated evidence suggest that apoptosis helps to maintain cellular homeostasis during the menstrual cycle by eliminating senescent cells from the functional layer of the uterine endometrium during the late secretory and menstrual phase of the cycle. BCL-2 family and Fas/FasL system have been extensively studied in human endometrium and endometriotic tissues. Eutopic endometrium from women with endometriosis reportedly has some fundamental differences compared with normal endometrium of women without endometriosis. The differences could contribute to the survival of regurgitating endometrial cells into the peritoneal cavity and the development of endometriosis. One mechanism that recently gained a lot of interest is the finding that apoptosis appeared in eutopic and ectopic endometrium of patients with endometriosis. This study is a current review of the literature focused on the physiological role of apoptosis in normal endometrium and the alterations in regulation of apoptosis in eutopic and ectopic endometrium from women with endometriosis. Finally, role of apoptosis in the treatment of endometriosis is reviewed to link the basic research findings into clinical applications.