Document Detail

Sympathetic and T helper (Th)2 bias may ameliorate uterine fibroids, independent of sex steroids.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16213989     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We propose that inadequate sympathetic bias and Th2 bias in the uterine environment contributes to the formation of fibroids, independent of the sex steroid status. We also propose that fibroids represent a modern maladaptation that partly results from decreasing exposure to seminal fluid, which contains catecholalmines, transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1), aldosterone, prostaglandins, and other factors that shift the uterine environment to sympathetic and T helper (Th)2 bias. Lower risk of fibroids is associated with pre-menarche, post-menopause, pregnancy, exposure to contraceptives, smoking, earlier age of first pregnancy, shorter interval since last pregnancy, higher parity, and non-obesity. These associations are currently attributed to alterations of sex steroids. However, the association may also be explained by the observation that pre-menarche, post-menopause, pregnancy, and smoking represent periods of sympathetic and Th2 bias. Furthermore, use of contraceptives, early age of first pregnancy, short interval since last pregnancy, high parity, abnormal pap smear, and non-obesity may represent surrogates for increased sexual activity and increased exposure to seminal fluid. Catecholalmines, aldosterone, TGF, and prostaglandins are among the seminal fluid components that promote sympathetic and Th2 bias. Vasectomized copulations protect against fibroids, an observation that undermines the steroid hypothesis and supports our hypothesis. The putative mechanism of action of uterine artery embolization (UAE) for fibroid treatment is starvation of blood supply, but the extensive collaterals that protect uterine perfusion would presumably also buffer against fibroid hypoperfusion. Instead, the sympathetic and Th2 responses to UAE-related ischemia may contribute to fibroid regression. A potential explanation for the association of fibroids with intrauterine devices may be a Th1 cell-mediated immune response to the foreign body, which may also enhance the contraceptive effect. Novel methods of preventing and treating fibroids by promoting sympathetic and Th2 shift through natural, pharmacologic, and neuromodulatory means are envisioned. Fibroids are likely a modern dysfunction given the high Darwinian fitness cost of fibroid-related infertility, and may be attributable to reduced intercourse frequency. Fibroids have been observed among animals in captivity that are presumably reproductively isolated.
Anthony J Yun; Stephanie M Daniel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medical hypotheses     Volume:  65     ISSN:  0306-9877     ISO Abbreviation:  Med. Hypotheses     Publication Date:  2005  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-10-10     Completed Date:  2006-01-05     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505668     Medline TA:  Med Hypotheses     Country:  Scotland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1172-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Stanford University, Department of Radiology, 470 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Gonadal Steroid Hormones / immunology*
Leiomyoma / immunology*
Models, Immunological*
Semen / immunology*
Sympathetic Nervous System / immunology*
Th2 Cells / immunology*
Uterine Neoplasms / immunology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Gonadal Steroid Hormones

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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