To date, several groups have generated homologous models of endometriosis through the implantation of endometrial tissue fluorescently labeled by green fluorescent protein (GFP) or tissue from luciferase-expressing transgenic mice into recipient animals, enabling noninvasive monitoring of lesion signal. These models present an advantage over endpoint models, but some limitations persist; use of transgenic mice is laborious and expensive, and GFP presents poor tissue penetration due to the relatively short emission wavelength. For this reason, a homologous mouse model of endometriosis that allows in vivo monitoring of generated lesions over time and mimics human lesions in recipient mice would be most desirable.
In this regard, using C57BL/6 and B6N-Tyrc-Brd/BrdCrCrl mice, we optimized a decidualization protocol to obtain large volumes of decidual endometrium and mimic human lesions. Subsequently, to obtain a more robust and reliable noninvasive monitoring of lesions, we used the fluorescent reporter mCherry, which presents deeper tissue penetration and higher photostability, showing that endometrial tissue was properly labeled with 1 × 108 PFU/mL mCherry adenoviral vectors. mCherry-labeled endometriotic tissue was implanted in recipient mice, generating lesions that displayed characteristics typical of human endometriotic lesions, such as epithelial cells forming glands, local inflammation, collagen deposits, and new vessel formation. In vivo monitoring demonstrated that subcutaneous implantation on ventral abdomen of recipient mice provided the most intense and reliable signal for noninvasive lesion monitoring over a period of at least 20 days. This homologous model improves upon previously reported models of endometriosis and provides opportunities to study mechanism underlying endometriotic lesion growth and progression.
We created a cost-effective but accurate homologous mouse model of endometriosis that allows the study of growth and progression of endometriotic lesions over early time points in lesion development through noninvasive monitoring.