The gynecological disease endometriosis is characterized by the deposition and proliferation of endometrial cells outside the uterus and clinically is linked to low body mass index (BMI). Gene expression in the liver of these women has not been reported. We hypothesized that endometriosis may impact hepatic gene expression, promoting a low BMI. To determine the effect of endometriosis on liver gene expression, we induced endometriosis in female mice by suturing donor mouse endometrium into the peritoneal cavity and measuring the weight of these mice. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning of these mice showed lower body weight and lower total body fat than controls. Microarray analysis identified 26 genes differentially regulated in the livers of mice with endometriosis. Six of 26 genes were involved in metabolism. Four of six genes were upregulated and were related to weight loss, whereas two genes were downregulated and linked to obesity. Expression levels of Cyp2r1, Fabp4, Mrc1, and Rock2 were increased, whereas Igfbp1 and Mmd2 expression levels were decreased. Lep and Pparg, key metabolic genes in the pathways of the six genes identified from the microarray, were also upregulated. This dysregulation was specific to metabolic pathways. Here we demonstrate that endometriosis causes reduced body weight and body fat and disrupts expression of liver genes. We suggest that altered metabolism mediated by the liver contributes to the clinically observed low BMI that is characteristic of women with endometriosis. These findings reveal the systemic and multiorgan nature of endometriosis.
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Vol. 95 • No. 6