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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 7924021, 14 pages
Review Article

The Role of Oxidative Stress and Membrane Transport Systems during Endometriosis: A Fresh Look at a Busy Corner

1Unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Human Pathology in Adulthood and Childhood “G. Barresi”, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria 1, 98125 Messina, Italy
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Via Álvaro del Portillo 21, 00128 Rome, Italy
3Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Ospedale di Cattinara, Strada di Fiume 447, 34149 Trieste, Italy
4Unit of Psychodiagnostics and Clinical Psychology, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 78, 95124 Catania, Italy
5Department of Woman and Child Health, University of Padua, Via Giustiniani 3, 35128 Padua, Italy
6Department of General Surgery and Medical Surgical Specialties, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 78, 95124 Catania, Italy
7Unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Desenzano del Garda Hospital, Section of Gavardo, Via A. Gosa 74, 25085 Gavardo, Italy
8Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute for Maternal and Child Health-IRCCS “Burlo Garofolo”, Via dell’Istria 65/1, 34137 Trieste, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Salvatore Giovanni Vitale; moc.liamtoh@erotavlaselativ

Received 17 August 2017; Accepted 18 February 2018; Published 21 March 2018

Academic Editor: Sandra Donnini

Copyright © 2018 Salvatore Giovanni Vitale 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 a condition characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity, leading to a chronic inflammatory reaction. It is one of the most widespread gynecological diseases with a 10–15% prevalence in the general female population, rising up to 30–45% in patients with infertility. Although it was first described in 1860, its etiology and pathogenesis are still unclear. It is now accepted that inflammation plays a central role in the development and progression of endometriosis. In particular, it is marked by an inflammatory process associated with the overproduction of an array of inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins, metalloproteinases, cytokines, and chemokines. In addition, the growth and adhesion of endometrial cells in the peritoneal cavity due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals lead to disease onset, its ensuing symptoms—among which pain and infertility. The aim of our review is to evaluate the role of oxidative stress and ROS in the pathogenesis of endometriosis and the efficacy of antioxidant therapy in the treatment and mitigation of its symptoms.