Gonadotropin releasing hormone analogues inhibit leiomyoma extracellular matrix despite presence of gonadal hormones

The gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues inhibit fibrosis even in the presence of gonadal hormones in immortalized human leiomyoma cells grown in three-dimensional cultures.


Minnie Malik, Ph.D., Joy Britten, M.D., Jeris Cox, M.D., Amrita Patel, M.D., William H. Catherino, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 105, Issue 1, Pages 214-224



To determine the effect of GnRH analogues (GnRH-a) leuprolide acetate (LA) and cetrorelix acetate on gonadal hormone-regulated expression of extracellular matrix in uterine leiomyoma three-dimensional (3D) cultures.


Laboratory study.


University research laboratory.


Women undergoing hysterectomy for symptomatic leiomyomas.


The 3D cell cultures, protein analysis, Western blot, immunohistochemistry.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Expression of extracellular matrix proteins, collagen 1, fibronectin, and versican in leiomyoma cells 3D cultures exposed to E2, P, LA, cetrorelix acetate, and combinations for 24- and 72-hour time points.


The 3D leiomyoma cultures exposed to E2 for 24 hours demonstrated an increased expression of collagen-1 and fibronectin, which was maintained for up to 72 hours, a time point at which versican was up-regulated significantly. Although P up-regulated collagen-1 protein (1.29 ± 0.04) within 24 hours of exposure, significant increase in all extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins was observed when the gonadal hormones were used concomitantly. Significant decrease in the amount of ECM proteins was observed on use of GnRH-a, LA and cetrorelix, with 24-hour exposure. Both the compounds also significantly decreased ECM protein concentration despite the presence of E2 or both gonadal hormones.


This study demonstrates that GnRH-a directly affect the gonadal hormone-regulated collagen-1, fibronectin, and versican production in their presence. These findings suggest that localized therapy with GnRH-a may inhibit leiomyoma growth even in the presence of endogenous gonadal hormone exposure, thereby providing a mechanism to eliminate the hypoestrogenic side effects associated with GnRH-a therapy.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(15)01892-0/fulltext