Scientific reports

EP2 receptor antagonism reduces peripheral and central hyperalgesia in a preclinical mouse model of endometriosis.

PMID 28281561


Endometriosis is an incurable gynecological disorder characterized by debilitating pain and the establishment of innervated endometriosis lesions outside the uterus. In a preclinical mouse model of endometriosis we demonstrated overexpression of the PGE2-signaling pathway (including COX-2, EP2, EP4) in endometriosis lesions, dorsal root ganglia (DRG), spinal cord, thalamus and forebrain. TRPV1, a PGE2-regulated channel in nociceptive neurons was also increased in the DRG. These findings support the concept that an amplification process occurs along the pain neuroaxis in endometriosis. We then tested TRPV1, EP2, and EP4 receptor antagonists: The EP2 antagonist was the most efficient analgesic, reducing primary hyperalgesia by 80% and secondary hyperalgesia by 40%. In this study we demonstrate reversible peripheral and central hyperalgesia in mice with induced endometriosis.