Human Endometrium-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Cell-based Therapies

Human Endometrium-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Cell-based Therapies

Harvesting stem cells for endometriosis therapy

Key Points

Highlight: The human endometrial tissue is a source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These cells may be harvested and used for cell-based therapies in endometriosis by reducing inflammation.

Importance: This study showed the possibility of using human endometrial mesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs) as drug carriers in endometriosis because of their low immunogenicity, non-tumourigenicity, and endometriosis tropism.

What's done here: The aim was to obtain and characterize EMSCs and assess their endometriosis tropism. EMSCs were isolated from the endometrium of women undergoing laparoscopy for infertility.


  • EMSCs had fibroblast-like morphology in culture.
  • They were positive for stem cell markers CD73, CD90, CD105, CD166, and HLA-ABC (major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I)) and OCT4.
  • They could differentiate into osteocytes, adipocytes, and chondrocytes under certain conditions.
  • They also had a high tropism to endometriosis and did not cause tumor formation in the mouse model.
  • The author investigated the effect of EMSCs on endometriotic lesions in the mouse model, however, did not see significant differences between the ectopic endometriosis tissue sizes between the controls versus EMSC group.  


  • The study did not really examine whether EMSCs can reduce inflammation and whether it clearly affects the progression of endometriosis in the animal model.
  • Although EMSCs administered intravenously into mouse tail vein did not result in tumor formation in this study, it is unclear whether EMSCs injected to other anatomical areas can cause a tumor.

Lay Summary

Mesenchymal stem cells are a promising candidate for cell-based targeted therapies because they have characteristics such as self-renewal, multipotency, low immunogenicity, and non-oncogenicity. It has the capacity to migrate to sites of inflammation including in endometrial lesions and tumor. Most of these studies have examined MSCs and little studies have focused on endometrial mesenchymal stem cells, which have all these characteristics of MSCs. Hence, EMSCs can be explored for regenerative medicine and used to reduce inflammation such as in endometriosis.

Cheng et al. reported in Hindawi Stem Cells International journal about their findings in EMSCs. The authors isolated human EMSCs from eight women undergoing laparoscopy for idiopathic infertility. They showed that the EMSCs presented a fibroblast-like morphology and were positive for specific stem cell markers CD73, CD90, CD105, CD166, and HLA-ABC (major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I)) and OCT4. These EMSCs could differentiate into osteocytes, adipocytes, and chondrocytes under certain conditions. Importantly, when EMSCs were injected via tail vein in the mouse model with subcutaneously implanted endometriotic lesions, they were found mainly homed to the endometriotic lesions than other normal tissues. Moreover, the EMSCs did not cause tumor formation. However, the author did not observe significant differences between the endometriosis tissue sizes between control and EMSC groups. The study is also limited because it is unclear whether the EMSCs injected can reduce endometriosis inflammation.

In conclusion, EMSCs may be a promising candidate for cell-based therapy in endometriosis. Since current treatments for endometriosis including invasive surgery and hormone therapy still carry high recurrence risk, there is a need for exploration into other forms of treatments. EMSCs has low immunogenicity, non-tumourigenic and endometriosis tropism may make them a good candidate, however many future studies into their safety and efficacy will be needed before we can understand if EMSCs may be useful for women with endometriosis.

Research Source:

stem cells treatment endometrioum Mesenchymal stem cells


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