A1 Journal article – refereed

Secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) expression promotes lesion proliferation via canonical WNT signaling and indicates lesion borders in extraovarian endometriosis

List of Authors: Heinosalo T, Gabriel M, Kallio L, Adhikari P, Huhtinen K, Laajala TD, Kaikkonen E, Mehmood A, Suvitie P, Kujari H, Aittokallio T, Perheentupa A, Poutanen M


Publication year: 2018

Journal: Human Reproduction

Journal name in source: HUMAN REPRODUCTION

Journal acronym: HUM REPROD

Volume number: 33

Issue number: 5

Number of pages: 15

ISSN: 0268-1161

eISSN: 1460-2350

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dey026

STUDY QUESTION: What is the role of SFRP2 in endometriosis?SUMMARY ANSWER: SFRP2 acts as a canonical WNT/CTNNBI signaling agonist in endometriosis, regulating endometriosis lesion growth and indicating endometriosis lesion borders together with CTNNBI (also known as beta catenin).WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Endometriosis is a common, chronic disease that affects women of reproductive age, causing pain and infertility, and has significant economic impact on national health systems. Despite extensive research, the pathogenesis of endometriosis is poorly understood, and targeted medical treatments are lacking. WNT signaling is dysregulated in various human diseases, but its role in extraovarian endometriosis has not been fully elucidated.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: We evaluated the significance of WNT signaling, and especially secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2), in extraovarian endometriosis, including peritoneal and deep lesions. The study design was based on a cohort of clinical samples collected by laparoscopy or curettage and questionnaire data from healthy controls and endometriosis patients.PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Global gene expression analysis in human endometrium ( n = 104) and endometriosis (n = 177) specimens from 47 healthy controls and 103 endometriosis patients was followed by bioinformatics and supportive qPCR analyses. Immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, primary cell culture and siRNA knockdown approaches were used to validate the findings.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Among the 220 WNT signaling and CTNNBI target genes analysed, 184 genes showed differential expression in extraovarian endometriosis (P < 0.05) compared with endometrium tissue, including SFRP2 and CTNNI. Menstrual cycle-dependent regulation of WNT genes observed in the endometrium was lost in endometriosis lesions, as shown by hierarchical clustering. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that SFRP2 and CTNNBI are novel endometriosis lesion border markers, complementing immunostaining for the known marker CD10 (also known as MME). SFRP2 and CTNNBI localized similarly in both the epithelium and stroma of extraovarian endometriosis tissue, and interestingly, both also indicated an additional distant lesion border, suggesting that WNT signaling is altered in the endometriosis stroma beyond the primary border indicated by the known marker CD10. SFRP2 expression was positively associated with pain symptoms experienced by patients (P < 0.05), and functional loss of SFRP2 in extraovarian endometriosis primary cell cultures resulted in decreased cell proliferation (P < 0.05) associated with reduced CTNNBI protein expression (P = 0.05).LIMITATIONS REASONS FOR CAUTION: SFRP2 and CTNNBI improved extraovarian endometriosis lesion border detection in a relatively small cohort (n = 20), although larger studies with different endometriosis subtypes in variable cycle phases and under hormonal medication are required.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The highly expressed SFRP2 and CTNNBI improve endometriosis lesion border detection, which can have clinical implications for better visualization of endometriosis lesions over CD10. Furthermore, SFRP2 acts as a canonical WNT/CTNNBI signaling agonist in endometriosis and positively regulates endometriosis lesion growth, suggesting that the WNT pathway may be an important therapeutic target for endometriosis.

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 11:40