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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013, Article ID 450950, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Enhanced Inflammatory Activity of Endometriotic Lesions from the Rectovaginal Septum

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inselspital, Berne University Hospital, 3010 Berne, Switzerland
2Department of Clinical Research, University of Berne, 3010 Berne, Switzerland

Received 9 August 2013; Accepted 22 November 2013

Academic Editor: Charles J. Malemud

Copyright © 2013 Dominic Bertschi et al. 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.


Endometriosis is characterised by the growth of ectopic lesions at multiple locations outside the uterine cavity and may be considered a collection of distinct but related conditions. The exact aetiology of endometriosis is still not clear although a role for inflammation is increasingly accepted. We therefore investigated the inflammatory activity of eutopic tissue and that of the matching ectopic lesions from different locations by measuring the genetic expression of inflammatory chemokines and cytokines. The gene expression in matching eutopic and ectopic tissue was compared, as was the gene expression in lesions from different locations. A significantly higher mRNA expression of the chemokines ENA-78 and RANTES and the cytokines IL-6 and TNFα was observed in endometriotic lesions of the rectovaginal septum (RVS) compared to that of matching eutopic tissue. Comparisons across lesion locations showed a significantly higher expression of IL-6 and TNFα in the RVS compared to lesions from either the ovaries or the peritoneum. These results show that the production of some inflammatory chemokines and cytokines is significantly increased in the ectopic endometrial tissue compared to matching eutopic tissue. Furthermore, IL-6 and TNFα are produced in significantly higher quantities in RVS lesions compared to other lesions.