Combined role of Iron and toxic environmental elements in human endometriosis?

A recent international study arising from the collaboration of Burlo Garofolo hospital in Trieste and Elettra highlights the existence of a possible link between endometriosis and exposure to environmental pollutants, specifically metals. Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease affecting about 10–15 % of women worldwide in fertile age. The pathology manifests as growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. Although the disease etiology has not yet been clarified, retrograde menstruation has become the most widely accepted theory for the initial development. However, since retrograde menstruation is quite common among women and not all of them suffer from endometriosis, other concurrent conditions promote the adhesion and the proliferation of endometrial tissue in very distant organs, such as lungs and brain. Even though most manifestations are known to arise from an oxidative stress state sustaining the inflammatory condition, it is generally accepted that several other factors may concur to the pathogenesis, including environmental factors and genetic predisposition. 

Thus, there is an increasing interest to explore the potential role of the exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors in the pathogenesis of this frequent and distressing disease.
Several studies have suggested a link between endometriosis and an altered iron metabolism, and possibly to other metals. In order to better investigate the iron overloads as well as the possible role or appearance of other metals in the endometrial lesions of women affected by endometriosis, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) imaging at sub-micrometric spatial resolution was employed. Namely, low energy X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) mapping, combined with soft X-ray microscopy imaging, was carried out at the TwinMic of Elettra, and were complemented by hard XRF mappaing at ID21 and ID16b beamline of ESRF (Grenoble, France). This experimental approach allowed to cover a wide energy range and thus investigate the presence of several chemical elements, comparing healthy and diseased tissues.

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Detention and mapping of iron and toxic environmental elements in human ovarian endometriosis: A suggested combined role;
L. Pascolo, M. Pachetti, A. Camillo, A. Cernogoraz, C. Rizzardi, K. Vogel Mikus, F. Zanconati, M. Salomé, V. Suárez Tardillo, F. Romano, G. Zito, A. Gianoncelli and G. Ricci;
Science of The Total Environment, p. 161028 (2022).
doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.161028


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 December 2023 17:27