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Stem Cells in Human Endometrium and Endometrial Carcinoma

Cervelló, Irene Ph.D.; Mirantes, Cristina M.Sc.; Santamaria, Xavier M.D.; Dolcet, Xavier Ph.D.; Matias-Guiu, Xavier M.D., Ph.D.; Simón, Carlos M.D., Ph.D.

International Journal of Gynecological Pathology: July 2011 - Volume 30 - Issue 4 - p 317–327
doi: 10.1097/PGP.0b013e3182102754

This study reviews the current knowledge about endometrial somatic stem cells and endometrial cancer stem cells. It describes the main features of somatic stem cells, such as high proliferative potential, self renewal, differentiation into 1 or more lineages, retention of a DNA synthesis label (BrdU), and some methods to identify them (Hoechst dye exclusion test, immunophenotyping). The most likely markers for endometrial somatic stem cells (Oct-4, Musashi-1, CD31, CD34, and CD144) are also mentioned. The study also reviews the literature regarding endometrial cancer stem cells. Results obtained by evaluations of the side population in endometrial cancer cell lines and studies on putative cancer stem cell markers are also discussed. The possible roles of endometrial cancer stem cells in metastasis and resistance to anticancer treatment are also mentioned.

Fundación IVI (I.C., X.S., C.S.), Instituto Universitario IVI, Valencia University, Incliva

Stem Cell Bank (C.S.), Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, Valencia

Department of Pathology and Molecular Genetics and Research Laboratory (C.M., X.D., X.M.), Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, University of Lleida, IRBLLEIDA, Lleida, Spain

Supported by grants, Fundació Gent per Gent 08/09, FIS PI100922, SAF 2008-02048, PROMETEO/2008/163, 2009SGR794, RD06/0020/1034 and programa de intensificación de la investigación, Instituto Carlos III. Xavier Dolcet holds a postdoctoral fellowship from Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias, Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo (CP05/00028), Cristina Mirantes holds a predoctoral fellowship from AGAUR.

Irene Cervelló, PhD and Cristina Mirantes, MSc, should be considered as first authors.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Xavier Matias-Guiu, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology and Molecular Genetics, Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, Av. Alcalde Rovira Roure 80, Lleida 25198, Spain. e-mail:

©2011International Society of Gynecological Pathologists