Current understanding of somatic stem cells in leiomyoma formation

In this work, we offer an overview of the current knowledge about somatic stem cells in murine and human myometrium and their putative implication in human leiomyoma formation.


Aymara Mas, Ph.D., Irene Cervello, Ph.D., Claudia Gil-Sanchis, Ph.D., Carlos Simon, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 102, Issue 3, Pages 613-620



To provide a detailed summary of current scientific knowledge of somatic stem cells (SSCs) in murine and human myometrium and their putative implication in leiomyoma formation, as well as to establish new therapeutic options.


Pubmed and Scholar One manuscripts were used to identify the most relevant studies on SSCs and their implications in human myometrium and leiomyomas.


University research laboratory–affiliated infertility clinic.


Not applicable.


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Main Outcome Measure(s):

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Despite numerous publications on SSCs, it was not until 2007 that scientific evidence based on the use of 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and side population (SP) methods in murine and human myometrium were first published. Recently, it has been reported that SP cells are present in human leiomyomas; however, to date the pathogenesis of this benign tumor remains unclear. Besides many genetic/epigenetic alterations, changes to steroid hormones and growth factors may also be associated with the impaired function, proliferation, and differentiation of a subset of putative SSCs in human myometrium.


These findings open up new possibilities for understanding the origin of this benign tumor and help to develop new nonsurgical approaches for their management.

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