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New theory on cause of endometriosis
Date:3/7/2014

rience retrograde menstruation at some point. Nor do they explain instances of endometriosis that arise independent of menstruation.

Bulun and Dyson propose that an epigenetic switch permits the expression of the genetic receptor GATA6 rather than GATA2, resulting in progesterone resistance and disease development.

"We believe an overwhelming number of these altered cells reach the lining of the abdominal cavity, survive and grow," Bulun said. "These findings could someday lead to the first noninvasive test for endometriosis."

Clinicians could then prevent the disease by placing teenagers predisposed to this epigenetic change on a birth control pill regimen, preventing the possibility of retrograde menstruation in the first place, Bulun said.

Dyson will also look to use the epigenetic fingerprint resulting from the presence of GATA6 rather than GATA2 as a potential diagnostic tool, since these epigenetic differences are readily detectable.

"These findings have the potential to shift how we view and treat the disease moving forward," Bulun said.


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Contact: Marla Paul
marla-paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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