BACKGROUND: HLA-G is an antigen whose participation in the regulation of the immune system is well documented. The aim of the present study has therefore been to evaluate the sHLA-G blood serum concentrations levels in both women with ovarian endometriosis and women with uterine leiomyomas.
METHODS: In our study, the soluble HLA-G concentration level was evaluated in the blood serum samples obtained from 98 women who underwent laparotomies or laparoscopies due to either ovarian endometriosis or leiomyomatous uterus. The control group consisted of 42 women, including women on whom a diagnostic laparoscopy identified no lesions, and volunteers-healthy women who returned their blood serum samples during menstrual bleeding.
RESULTS: Patients who underwent surgical treatment because of ovarian endometriosis or uterine leiomyoma, as well as patients from the control group, exhibited no sHLA-G blood serum concentration level fluctuations between the proliferative and secretory menstrual cycle phases. The sHLA-G levels were significantly lower in the patients with ovarian endometriosis and in the patients from the control group during the menstrual cycle phase than in those patients with leiomyoma. A similar relation between the sHLA-G levels of the postmenopausal patients suffering from leiomyoma and the control patients was found. In contrast, the postmenopausal women suffering from endometriosis were typified by levels of sHLA-G blood serum concentration comparable to those of the patients with leiomyoma, and the levels were significantly higher than those observed in the blood sera of the postmenopausal patients from the control group.
CONCLUSION: The soluble HLA-G blood serum level would seem to be a useful marker for evaluating the status of the microenvironment, where the tumor-immune cell and ectopic and eutopic endometrial interactions take place.