Micro-RNA profile and proteins in peritoneal fluid from women with endometriosis: their relationship with sterility

Peritoneal fluid from endometriosis patients presents a characteristic microRNA profile, which modulates angiogenesis and fertility. Acting as intercellular communicators, microRNAs may contribute to the peritoneal implantation of endometriotic lesions.

Volume 109, Issue 4, Pages 675–684.e2


Josep Marí-Alexandre, B.Sc., Moisés Barceló-Molina, B.Sc., Elisa Belmonte-López, B.Sc., Javier García-Oms, M.D., Ph.D., Amparo Estellés, M.D., Ph.D., Juan Gilabert-Estellés, M.D., Ph.D.



To define the microRNA (miRNA) profile and its relationship with cytokines content in peritoneal fluid (PF) from endometriosis patients.


Case–control study.


University hospital, research institute.


One hundred twenty-six women with endometriosis (EPF) and 45 control women (CPF).

Main Outcomes Measure(s)

MiRNA arrays were prepared from six EPF and six CPF. Quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction validation of nine selected miRNAs (miR-29c-3p, -106b-3p, -130a-3p, -150-5p, -185-5p, -195-5p, -451a, -486-5p, and -1343-5p) was performed. Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP3), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases type 1 (TIMP-1), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-17A, macrophage inflammatory protein 1β (MIP1beta), platelet-derived growth factor α-polypeptide A, and regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) were quantified by ELISA and MILLIPLEX.


MiRNA arrays showed 126 miRNAs differentially expressed (fold change ±1.2) (78 down-regulated, 48 up-regulated) in EPF. Validation showed higher levels of miR-106b-3p, -451a, -486-5p, IL-6, IL-8, uPA, and TIMP-1 in EPF. In menstrual phase, EPF presented up-regulation of miR-106b-3p, -130a-3p, -150-5p, -185-5p, -451a, -486-5p, VEGF-A, IL-8, MIF 1β, uPA, and PAI-1 compared with other phases; however, CPF did not. MiRNA-486-5p was up-regulated in sterile EPF compared with sterile controls, and VEGF-A, IL-8, and TIMP-1 were increased in sterile and fertile EPF compared with fertile CPF.


MiRNAs seem to be involved in the peritoneal alterations in endometriosis, suggesting new mechanisms by which ectopic lesions could implant in endometriosis patients; and to serve as biomarkers for fertility outcome prediction.

Read the full text here.