Mechanism of pain generation for endometriosis-associated pelvic pain
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- Kobayashi, H., Yamada, Y., Morioka, S. et al. Arch Gynecol Obstet (2014) 289: 13. doi:10.1007/s00404-013-3049-8
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Endometriosis-associated pelvic pain appears due to persistent nociceptive stimulation, but the precise mechanisms remain poorly understood.
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Neurotrophins (NTs), a family of neuronal growth factors, are overexpressed in endometriosis and encompass NGF, BDNF and NT-3 and NT-4/5. NT receptors, TrkA and p75NTR, and NT receptor-interacting proteins, MAGE and NDN, were also expressed. NTs and their receptors play a role in the development and maintenance of neural tissues in non-neuronal cell types such as endometriosis. Nerve fibers contain unmyelinated sensory C, myelinated sensory Adelta and adrenergic nerve fibers that innervate abnormal cell growths. An increased release of proinflammatory cytokines from endometriotic lesions is responsible for the excessive sensory innervation and development of chronic pelvic pain.
The preponderance of the inflammatory milieu and subsequent hyperinnervation might be involved in the pathophysiology of pain generation in women with endometriosis.