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Fertility and sterility

Aromatase inhibitor treatment limits progression of peritoneal endometriosis in baboons.


PMID 23257603

Abstract

To determine the effect of inhibiting aromatase activity on endometrial lesion growth and aromatase expression in a baboon model of induced endometriosis. Prospective study. Primate research institute. Sixteen olive baboons. Sixteen olive baboons with induced endometriosis were examined with laparoscopy 10 months after disease inoculation. Animals in group 1 (n = 10) were treated with 1.25 mg/d of the aromatase inhibitor (AI) letrozole, and animals in group 2 (n = 6) were given a placebo for a total of 6 months. Total number of endometriotic lesions, morphology, and volume of lesions, as well as semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and quantitative polymerase chain reaction for levels of aromatase cytochrome messenger RNA were measured. Ovarian volumes were evaluated before treatment initiation and every 2 months during the study. Treatment of group 1 animals with an AI significantly decreased lesion volume from baseline measurements, whereas the placebo-treated animals showed an increase in lesion volume. Aromatase messenger RNA levels in lesions in the AI-treated animals were significantly lower compared with the placebo-treated animals. Ovarian volumes were significantly increased at 6 months of AI treatment compared with pretreatment volumes. These findings suggest that suppression of aromatase cytochrome P450 may inhibit the in vivo growth of endometriotic lesions in baboons.