Aromatase inhibitor treatment limits progression of peritoneal endometriosis in baboons

Capsule:
Suppression of aromatase cytochrome P450 may inhibit the in vivo growth of endometriosis lesions in baboons.

Authors:
David Langoi, D.V.M., Mary Ellen Pavone, M.D., Bilgin Gurates, M.D., Daniel Chai, D.V.M., Asgerally Fazleabas, Ph.D., Serdar E. Bulun, M.D.

Volume 99, Issue 3, Pages 656-662.e3, 1 March 2013

Abstract:

Objective:
To determine the effect of inhibiting aromatase activity on endometrial lesion growth and aromatase expression in a baboon model of induced endometriosis.

Design:
Prospective study.

Setting:
Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya.

Animals:
Sixteen olive baboons.

Intervention:
Sixteen olive baboons with induced endometriosis were examined with laparoscopy 10 months after disease inoculation . Animals in Group 1 (n=10) were treated with 1.25 mg/d of the aromatase inhibitor (AI) letrozole and animals in Group 2 (n=6) were given a placebo for a total of 6 months.

Main Outcome Measure:
Total number of endometriotic lesions, morphology and volume of leisions as well as semi-quantitative RT-PCR and quantitative PCR for levels of aromatase cytochrome mRNA were measured. Ovarian volumes were evaluated prior to treatment initiation and every 2 months during the study.

Results:
Treatment of Group 1 animals with an AI significantly decreased lesion volume from baseline measurements whereas the placebo-treated animals showed an increase in lesion volume . Aromatase mRNA levels in lesions in the AI-treated animals were significantly lower compared with the placebo-treated animals. Ovarian volumes were significantly increased at 6 months of AI treatment compared to pre-treatment volumes .

Conclusions:
These findings suggest that suppression of aromatase cytochrome P450 may inhibit the in vivo growth of endometriotic lesions in baboons.

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