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Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation

Editor-in-Chief: Pasqualini, Jorge R.

Editorial Board Member: Fujimoto, Jiro / Groner, Bernd / Hubalek, Michael / Morfin, Robert / Saad, Farid / Schally, Andrew V. / Alexis, Michael N. / Baniahmad, Aria / Beato, Miguel / Bouillon, Roger / Brodie, Angela / Campagnoli, Carlo / Carruba, Giuseppe / Chen, Shiuan / Chetrite, Gerard / Cidlowski, John A. / Clarke, Robert / Coelingh Bennink, Herjan J.T. / Danza, Giovanna / Darbre, Philippa D. / Daxenbichler, Günter / Kloet, Ronald / Nicola, Alejandro F. / Drouin, Jacques / Dufau, Maria L. / Edwards, Dean P. / Falany, Charles N. / Fernandez-Perez, Leandro / Ferroud, Clotilde / Flores-Morales, Amilcar / Garcia-Segura, Luis M. / Gee, J.M.W. / Genazzani, Andrea R. / Greene, Geoffrey L. / Hilakivi-Clarke, Leena / Hampl, Richard / Iwase, Hirotaka / Jordan, V.Craig / Klocker, Helmut / Kurebayashi, Jyunichi / Labrie, Fernand / Luu-The, Van / Mendelson, Carole R. / Mück, Alfred O. / Nicholson, Robert / Norman, Anthony W. / O'Malley, Bert W. / Rafestin-Oblin, Marie-Edith / Raynaud, Jean-Pierre / Ruan, Xiangyan / Russo, Jose / Sanchez, Edwin R. / Schillaci, Roxana / Schindler, Adolf E. / Söderqvist, Gunnar / Speirs, Valerie / Stanczyk, Frank Z. / Starka, Luboslav / Sutter, Thomas R. / Tresguerres, Jesús A. / Verhoeven, Guido / Wahli, Walter / Wildt, Ludwig / Yang, Kaiping / Ylikomi, Timo / Yu, Qi

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Recent advances on the action of estrogens and progestogens in normal and pathological human endometrium

Jorge R. Pasqualini1 / Gérard S. Chetrite2

1Hormones and Cancer Research Unit, Paris, France

2Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, CHU Bicêtre, INSERM U693, Faculté de Médecine Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France

Corresponding author: Prof. J.R. Pasqualini, Hormones and Cancer Research Unit, 45 Boulevard Brune, 75014 Paris, France Phone: +33-1-4542-4121, Fax: +33-1-4542-6121,

Citation Information: Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation. Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 155–175, ISSN (Online) 1868-1891, ISSN (Print) 1868-1883, DOI: 10.1515/HMBCI.2010.027, May 2010

Publication History

Published Online:


Hormonal control in the development of the normal endometrium is of the utmost importance. It is well established that the two main hormones involved in this process are estradiol and progesterone, which are also implicated in the pathological conditions concerning endometriosis and endometrial carcinoma. There are two types of endometrial carcinoma: type I which represents 80%–90% is hormone-dependent, whereas the remainder is type II and is hormone-independent. The endometrial tissue contains all the enzymatic systems in the formation and transformation of the various hormones, including aromatases, sulfatases, sulfotransferases, hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases, hydroxylases, and glucuronidases. It is interesting to note that increased sulfatase activity is correlated with severity of endometriosis. An increased sulfatase/sulfotransferase ratio represents a poor prognosis in patients with endometrial carcinoma. Treatment with hormone replacement therapy (estrogens+progestogens), as well as with tibolone, is most effective in protecting this tissue by climacteric alterations, owing to the significant decrease of ovarian hormones. In conclusion, enzymatic control can open appealing perspectives to protect this organ from possible pathological alterations.

Keywords: cancer; endometriosis; endometrium; estrogens; progesterone

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