Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 10 (2001), Issue 2, Pages 75-80

The possible anti-inflammatory role of circulating human leukocyte antigen levels in women with endometriosis after treatment with danazol and leuprorelin acetate depot

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
2Department of Biology, University of Crete, P.O. Box 2208, Heraklion 714–09, Greece

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: Endometriosis is defined as an inflammatory condition of the female reproductive tract, a state often associated with infertility and miscarriage. Many exogenously administered factors (treatments) control the disease via as yet unknown pathways. Possible candidate molecules involved in these mechanisms could be the serum-soluble human leukocyte antigens (sHLA) that have been detected in a variety of human body fluids and that are associated with several diseases.

Aims: We here examine how danazol and leuprorelin acetate depot treatments exert their anti-inflammatory action. It is plausible that subtle alterations mediated by these treatments and in relation to sHLA may explain the pathophysiology of endometriosis and provide insights towards new therapeutic protocols.

Methods: Indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), using specific monoclonal antibodies, determined serum-soluble class-I and class-II HLA levels. ELISA readings from treated women were compared with normal healthy subjects.

Results: Serum-soluble class-I and class-II HLA levels are statistically significantly lower (P<0.001) in women with endometriosis than in the control groups. However, danazol but not leuprorelin acetate depot administration augments soluble HLA class I and class II (P<0.01 and P<0.001, respectively) to normal levels during the treatment period, an increase that may account for the anti-inflammatory effect and the remission observed.

Conlusions: It is shown that one of the underlying causes of endometriosis may be the lack of both circulating class-I and class-II antigen levels. Danazol administration acts via an induced release of these antigens, whose presence correlates with the degree of the inflammatory alleviation obtained. We thus provide evidence that the inflammatory state of the disease appears to be associated with soluble HLA levels because, 3 months after ceasing therapy, the circulating antigens in the serum return to the same levels that correspond to the pathological condition.