- •High-purity primary eutopic endometrial stromal cells were successfully isolated
- •The levels of PGRN expression were significantly elevated in endometriosis tissue samples
- •PGRN promoted the proliferation, migration and invasion of endometrial stromal cells
- •These effects are achieved via the PI3K/Akt signalling pathway
What are the levels of progranulin (PGRN) expression in primary endometrial stromal cells (ESC) and endometrial tissue in patients with endometriosis (EMS)? What is the role and mechanism of action of PGRN in EMS?
Endometrial tissue was collected from 30 patients, 15 with EMS (EMS group) and 15 without EMS (non-EMS group). PGRN expression in endometrial tissue and ESC was analysed by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, western blotting and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. PGRN overexpression and silencing ESC were established with lentivirus to detect the effect on proliferation, invasion and migration. The relationship between PGRN and the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) signalling pathway was verified by western blotting. A rescue assay was performed with PI3K inhibitor treatment.
The PGRN expression was significantly higher in EMS samples. PGRN up-regulation promoted proliferation (P = 0.007), migration (P = 0.002) and invasion (P < 0.001) of eutopic endometrial stromal cells (EUESC). The ratio of p-AKT/AKT was higher in the overexpression PGRN (ovPGRN) group than in the overexpression-NC (ovNC) group (P = 0.004). Silencing PGRN produced the opposite results, and LY2940002 addition reversed the effect of PGRN up-regulation on the proliferation, invasion and migration of EUESC.
PGRN might promote the proliferation, invasion and migration of EUESC via the PI3K/Akt signalling pathway. These preliminary in-vitro findings may present a new perspective and inspire further study of the mechanism of EMS.
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Aiping Qin, PhD, is a gynaecologist subspecializing in reproductive medicine. She is a member of the Reproductive Medicine Branch of the Chinese Medical Association. Her research interests include fertility protection and abnormal endometrial receptivity. She has published more than 50 articles.
The role and mechanism of PGRN in endometriosis is unclear. The results of this study suggest that PGRN is highly expressed in the eutopic endometrium of endometriosis patients and that up-regulation of PGRN may promote proliferation, invasion and migration of EUESC, which may be achieved through the PI3K/Akt signalling pathway.
Published online: November 17, 2022
Accepted: November 11, 2022
Received in revised form: October 27, 2022
Received: August 1, 2022Declaration: The authors report no financial or commercial conflicts of interest.
© 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Reproductive Healthcare Ltd.