Researchers from several Chinese institutions conducted a mouse study and found that anti-platelet therapy could be used as an efficient treatment for adenomyosis, an endometrial condition present in some endometriosis patients.
The study, “Anti-platelet therapy holds promise in treating adenomyosis: experimental evidence,” was published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology.
Adenomyosis is a gynecological condition characterized by the presence of the tissue lining the uterus (endometrial tissue) growing into the muscular wall of the uterus. The disease is well known to be regulated by sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, therefore most of the available drugs on the market target the regulation of these sex hormones.
As adenomyosis involves inflammation and cyclic bleeding processes indicative of vascular injury and wound or tissue damage, recently emerging evidence suggests that endometriotic lesions are actually wound processes derived from repeated tissue injury and repair. During these processes, the blood cells responsible for clotting, called platelets, are involved and ultimately lead to fibrosis.
To gain a better understanding of the role of platelets in the development process of adenomyosis, the researchers aimed to investigate whether an anti-platelet therapy might be beneficial to treat adenomyosis. Platelets have been shown to be of crucial importance in the development of endometriosis, a similar endometrial disorder.
The scientists induced adenomyosis in 57 neonatal female mice using a drug called tamoxifen. For comparative purposes, another group of 12 mice were used as blank controls and were injected with only the solvent without the presence of tamoxifen.
To follow relevant changes, the mice were tested every four weeks starting from week 4 after birth. The adenomyosis-induced mice were then randomly separated into six distinct groups after week 16.
The groups were: untreated mice; ii and iii) those receiving low doses of an antiplatelet agent called Ozagrel; those who received high doses of Ozagrel; mice receiving low doses of an agent able to deplete platelets; mice who were given high doses of an agent able to deplete platelets; and mice administrated an inert agent that was not supposed to deplete platelets. For comparison, the blank control group did not receive any therapy.
All mice were tested after three weeks of treatment using blood analysis and examinations of the harvested uterines and brains from these mice.
The results suggested that the mice receiving either Ozagrel or the agent depleting platelet therapies showed sign of disease improvement and reduction of fibrosis.
Also, and analysis of the brain revealed changes in the neuronal structure responsible for pain, suggesting that both treatments led to reduction of pain in the adenomyosis mice.
“This study further provides evidence that platelets play important roles in the development of adenomyosis,” the authors wrote in the study. “Collectively, these results demonstrate that anti-platelet therapy holds promises as a non-hormonal treatment for treating adenomyosis.”