Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Logo for

Science 308 (5728): 1587-1589

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The Pains of Endometriosis

Karen J. Berkley,1 Andrea J. Rapkin,2 Raymond E. Papka3

Abstract: Endometriosis is a disease defined by the presence of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Severe pelvic pain is often associated with endometriosis, and this pain can be diminished with therapies that suppress estrogen production. Many women with endometriosis also suffer from other chronic pain conditions. Recent studies suggest that mechanisms underlying these pains and sensitivity to estrogen involve the growth into the ectopic endometrial tissue of a nerve supply, which could have a varied and widespread influence on the activity of neurons throughout the central nervous system.

1 Program in Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA.
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for the Health Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Room 27-117, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
3 Department of Neurobiology, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, 4209 State Route 44, Post Office Box 95, Rootstown, OH 44272, USA.

Genetic variants underlying risk of endometriosis: insights from meta-analysis of eight genome-wide association and replication datasets.
N. Rahmioglu, D. R. Nyholt, A. P. Morris, S. A. Missmer, G. W. Montgomery, and K. T. Zondervan (2014)
Hum. Reprod. Update
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Effect of siRNA Against {beta}-NGF on Nerve Fibers of a Rat Model With Endometriosis.
Y. Chen, D. Li, Z. Zhang, N. Takushige, B.-H. Kong, and G.-Y. Wang (2014)
Reproductive Sciences 21, 329-339
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Possible Loss of GABAergic Inhibition in Mice With Induced Adenomyosis and Treatment With Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Attenuates the Loss With Improved Hyperalgesia.
Y. Chen, B. Zhu, H. Zhang, D. Ding, X. Liu, and S.-W. Guo (2014)
Reproductive Sciences
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Comparison of patient- and physician-based descriptions of symptoms of endometriosis: a qualitative study.
A. Fauconnier, S. Staraci, C. Huchon, H. Roman, P. Panel, and P. Descamps (2013)
Hum. Reprod. 28, 2686-2694
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Pelvic pain in women with ovarian endometrioma is mostly associated with coexisting peritoneal lesions.
K. N. Khan, M. Kitajima, A. Fujishita, K. Hiraki, A. Matsumoto, M. Nakashima, and H. Masuzaki (2013)
Hum. Reprod. 28, 109-118
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Are digestive symptoms in women presenting with pelvic endometriosis specific to lesion localizations? A preliminary prospective study.
H. Roman, J. Ness, N. Suciu, V. Bridoux, G. Gourcerol, A. M. Leroi, J. J. Tuech, P. Ducrotte, C. Savoye-Collet, and G. Savoye (2012)
Hum. Reprod. 27, 3440-3449
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The Expression and Functionality of Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 in Ovarian Endometriomas.
J. Liu, X. Liu, K. Duan, Y. Zhang, and S.-W. Guo (2012)
Reproductive Sciences 19, 1110-1124
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
2-Methoxyestradiol in the Pathophysiology of Endometriosis: Focus on Angiogenesis and Therapeutic Potential.
F. Machado-Linde, P. Pelegrin, M. L. Sanchez-Ferrer, J. Leon, P. Cascales, and J. J. Parrilla (2012)
Reproductive Sciences 19, 1018-1029
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Ovarian endometrioma: severe pelvic pain is associated with deeply infiltrating endometriosis.
C. Chapron, P. Santulli, D. de Ziegler, J.-C. Noel, V. Anaf, I. Streuli, H. Foulot, C. Souza, and B. Borghese (2012)
Hum. Reprod. 27, 702-711
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Pertubation with lignocaine as a new treatment of dysmenorrhea due to endometriosis: a randomized controlled trial.
K. Wickstrom, C. Bruse, A. Sjosten, J. Spira, and G. Edelstam (2012)
Hum. Reprod. 27, 695-701
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The translational challenge in the development of new and effective therapies for endometriosis: a review of confidence from published preclinical efficacy studies.
N. Pullen, C. L. Birch, G. J. Douglas, Q. Hussain, I. Pruimboom-Brees, and R. J. Walley (2011)
Hum. Reprod. Update 17, 791-802
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
TRPV1 and TRPA1 Function and Modulation Are Target Tissue Dependent.
S. Malin, D. Molliver, J. A. Christianson, E. S. Schwartz, P. Cornuet, K. M. Albers, and B. M. Davis (2011)
J. Neurosci. 31, 10516-10528
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis: translational evidence of the relationship and implications.
P. Stratton and K. J. Berkley (2011)
Hum. Reprod. Update 17, 327-346
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Evaluation of polymorphisms in predicted target sites for micro RNAs differentially expressed in endometriosis.
Z. Z. Zhao, L. Croft, D. R. Nyholt, B. Chapman, S. A. Treloar, M. L. Hull, and G. W. Montgomery (2011)
Mol. Hum. Reprod. 17, 92-103
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, reduces lesion growth and hyperalgesia in experimentally induced endometriosis in mice.
Y. Lu, J. Nie, X. Liu, Y. Zheng, and S.-W. Guo (2010)
Hum. Reprod. 25, 1014-1025
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Nerve fibres in ovarian endometriotic lesions in women with ovarian endometriosis.
X. Zhang, H. Yao, X. Huang, B. Lu, H. Xu, and C. Zhou (2010)
Hum. Reprod. 25, 392-397
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Density of small diameter sensory nerve fibres in endometrium: a semi-invasive diagnostic test for minimal to mild endometriosis.
A. Bokor, C.M. Kyama, L. Vercruysse, A. Fassbender, O. Gevaert, A. Vodolazkaia, B. De Moor, V. Fulop, and T. D'Hooghe (2009)
Hum. Reprod. 24, 3025-3032
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Recent progress in luteinizing hormone/human chorionic gonadotrophin hormone research.
N. A. Rahman and C.V. Rao (2009)
Mol. Hum. Reprod. 15, 703-711
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Rich innervation of deep infiltrating endometriosis.
G. Wang, N. Tokushige, R. Markham, and I. S. Fraser (2009)
Hum. Reprod. 24, 827-834
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The search for genes contributing to endometriosis risk.
G. W. Montgomery, D. R. Nyholt, Z. Z. Zhao, S. A. Treloar, J. N. Painter, S. A. Missmer, S. H. Kennedy, and K. T. Zondervan (2008)
Hum. Reprod. Update 14, 447-457
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) as a pathogenetic factor in endometriosis.
D. Finas, M. Huszar, A. Agic, S. Dogan, H. Kiefel, S. Riedle, D. Gast, R. Marcovich, F. Noack, P. Altevogt, et al. (2008)
Hum. Reprod. 23, 1053-1062
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Experimental autoimmune prostatitis induces chronic pelvic pain.
C. N. Rudick, A. J. Schaeffer, and P. Thumbikat (2008)
Am J Physiol Regulatory Integrative Comp Physiol 294, R1268-R1275
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Endometriosis as a neurovascular condition: estrous variations in innervation, vascularization, and growth factor content of ectopic endometrial cysts in the rat.
G. Zhang, N. Dmitrieva, Y. Liu, K. A. McGinty, and K. J. Berkley (2008)
Am J Physiol Regulatory Integrative Comp Physiol 294, R162-R171
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Experimental Endometriosis in the Rat Is Correlated With Colonic Motor Function Alterations but Not With Bacterial Load.
C. B. Appleyard, M. L. Cruz, E. Rivera, G. A. Hernandez, and I. Flores (2007)
Reproductive Sciences 14, 815-824
   Abstract »    PDF »
Evolution of medical treatment for endometriosis: back to the roots?.
F. Wieser, M. Cohen, A. Gaeddert, J. Yu, C. Burks-Wicks, S. L. Berga, and R. N. Taylor (2007)
Hum. Reprod. Update 13, 487-499
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Organ cross talk modulates pelvic pain.
C. N. Rudick, M. C. Chen, A. K. Mongiu, and D. J. Klumpp (2007)
Am J Physiol Regulatory Integrative Comp Physiol 293, R1191-R1198
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Human endometriosis is associated with plasma cells and overexpression of B lymphocyte stimulator.
A. Hever, R. B. Roth, P. Hevezi, M. E. Marin, J. A. Acosta, H. Acosta, J. Rojas, R. Herrera, D. Grigoriadis, E. White, et al. (2007)
PNAS 104, 12451-12456
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Significant evidence of one or more susceptibility loci for endometriosis with near-Mendelian inheritance on chromosome 7p13-15.
K. T. Zondervan, S. A. Treloar, J. Lin, D. E. Weeks, D. R. Nyholt, J. Mangion, I. J. MacKay, L. R. Cardon, N. G. Martin, S. H. Kennedy, et al. (2007)
Hum. Reprod. 22, 717-728
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Association between endometriosis stage, lesion type, patient characteristics and severity of pelvic pain symptoms: a multivariate analysis of over 1000 patients.
P. Vercellini, L. Fedele, G. Aimi, G. Pietropaolo, D. Consonni, and P.G. Crosignani (2007)
Hum. Reprod. 22, 266-271
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882