Endometriosis associated with plasma protein levels

October 24, 2022

1 min read



Sasamoto N, et al. A prospective study of plasma protein markers associated with risk of laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Presented at: ASRM Scientific Congress & Expo; Oct. 22-26, 2022; Anaheim, California.

Sasamoto reports no relevant financial disclosures. The study was supported by the Department of Defense W81XWH1910318, and the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort was supported by U01CA176726, U01HL145386 and R01CA67262.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis was associated with increased levels of 15 plasma proteins, data presented here showed.

“Endometriosis patients suffer on average 7 years of delay from symptom onset to diagnosis, and therefore discovery of noninvasive biomarkers that will identify women at greater risk for endometriosis has high potential to allow timely interventions and have significant positive on clinical impact outcomes of endometriosis.” Naoko Sasamoto, MD, PhD, an instructor in the department of OB/GYN at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told Healio.

Women with endometriosis had higher levels of certain proteins in their plasma. Source: Adobe Stock

Sasamoto and colleagues conducted a nested case-control study using data from the Nurses’ Health Study II. The researchers analyzed blood samples from 200 women with laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis and 200 matched controls for 1,305 biomarkers for immunity, angiogenesis and inflammation.

Women with endometriosis provided blood samples up to 9 years before diagnosis (median, 4 years).

Among the plasma proteins assessed, 15 were associated with an increased risk for endometriosis. For instance, women with endometriosis had higher plasma levels of S100 calcium-binding protein A9 (S100A9; OR = 1.52; 95% CI, 1.19-1.94), annexin A1 (ANXA1; OR = 1.45; 95% CI, 1.15-1.84) and histone cluster 1, H3a (HIST1H3A; OR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.31–1.78) compared with controls.

Women with endometriosis had lower levels of two proteins — insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 1 (IGFBP1; OR = 0.7; 95% CI, 0.52-0.94) and natriuretic peptide B (NPPB; OR = 0.7, 95% CI, 0.52 -0.94) — compared with controls.

Naoko Sasamoto, MD, PhD

Naoko Sasamoto

“We were surprised to see multiple pathways related to migration of innate immune cells being upregulated in endometriosis cases compared to controls, suggesting further investigation is needed to understand how immune activation is impacting endometriosis development,” Sasamoto said.

Confirmation of the findings is still needed.

“We would like to validate our findings in different populations and also understand more about how activation of innate immunity is impacting endometriosis development,” she said.

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