E Persoons, K De Clercq, C Van den Eynde, K Luyten et al
Leuven University Fertility Center, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Endometriosis is a prevalent gynecologic disease, defined by dysfunctional endometrium-like lesions outside of the uterine cavity. These lesions are presumably established via retrograde menstruation, i.e., endometrial tissue that flows backwards during menses into the abdomen and deposits on the organs. As ongoing pain is one of the main pain symptoms of patients, an animal model that illuminates this problem is highly anticipated. In the present study, we developed and validated a rat model for ongoing endometriosis-associated pain. First, menstrual endometrial tissue was successfully generated in donor rats, as validated by gross examination, histology and qPCR. Next, endometriosis was induced in recipient animals by intraperitoneal injection of menstrual tissue. This resulted in neuro-angiogenesis as well as established endometriosis lesions, which were similar to their human counterparts, since epithelial and stromal cells were observed. Furthermore, significant differences were noted between control and endometriosis animals concerning bodyweight and posture changes, indicating the presence of ongoing pain in animals with endometriosis. In summary, a rat model for endometriosis was established that reliably mimics the human pathophysiology of endometriosis and in which signs of ongoing pain were detected, thus providing a new research tool for therapy development.
BIOSEB Instruments Used:
Dynamic Weight Bearing 2.0 (BIO-DWB-DUAL)