Latest study shows that resveratrol, red wine derived and known for its anti-inflammatory properties, reduces development and progression of endometriosis in mice model and decreases the invasiveness of endometrial tissue in vitro.
Endometriosis is a common disorder affecting approximately 5-10% women in the reproductive years. It is defined as anectopic attachment and growth of endometrial tissue in the peritoneal cavity. This disease presents itself frequently with dysmenorrhea, chronic pelvic pain, dyspaurenia (painful intercourse) or infertility. The etiology theories include retrograde menstruation followed by implantation of ectopic tissue and coelomic metaplasia, both thought to be eventually associated with excessive inflammation and oxidative stress. This is why the hypothesis of resveratrol as a potential treatment has been put forward. This prospect is even more promising as the traditional methods of treating endometriosis often fail and still there is no cure for this complex disease.
Resveratrol is currently a subject of many studies on animals and humans. In 2003 the discovery of its anti-aging effects on yeast inspired scientists to search for other miraculous properties of this compound. The interest in this magical substance picks up as the richest source of resveratrol is common alcohol beverage. This compound is proved to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which indicates many possible advantageous effects. Moreover it presents significant growth-inhibiting and apoptosis-inducing activities in several biological systems including cancer cell lines and animal models of carcinogenesis.
To study the influence of resveratrol on endometriosis a group of scientists obtained human endometrial tissues from healthy donors by means of biopsy. Next step was to inject the material into mice intraperitoneally and thereby create an environment similar to human endometriosis. Animals were treated with resveratrol for up to 20 days, afterwards sacrificed and at the end endometrial lesions were evaluated. To somehow appraise the activity of resveratrol researchers used the detection of MKI67 and PCNA proteins, both specific markers of cell proliferation and the method of TUNEL staining in order to evaluate the process of apoptosis.
Results of the research support the hypothesis of beneficial impact of resveratrol on endometriotic lesions. It turns out that the substance had a major impact on the development of endometrial implants, reducing the proportion of mice developing endometriosis as well as decreasing the number of lesions per animal by 60% and the total volume of lesions per mouse by 80%. Material gained from resveratrol-treated mice presented a decrease in size and were poorly vascularised. MK167, PCNA and TUNEL staining also confirmed the assumption of resveratrol’s unique properties.
In summary, presented study proves that resveratrol holds promise as a potential treatment of endometriosis. But, what is highly significant, the endometrial tissue was obtained from healthy women, whereas the biochemistry of endometrial lesions differs from the normal cells. Therefore, further tests must be carried out in order to establish the real benefits of resveratrol therapy. What is more, the substance has not been officially approved for any clinical application. Still the importance of the discussed research is great because it offers a new view on endometriosis treatment and gives hope for the sufferers.