Aim: Micro ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) play an important pathological role in endometriosis. Leuprolide acetate, an analog of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, is widely used to treat endometriosis; however, the molecular mechanisms involved in endometriotic tissue regression remain unclear. We performed miRNA expression profiling of clinical ovarian endometrioma to obtain insight into the effects of leuprolide acetate treatment. Methods: We obtained clinical samples from nine normal eutopic endometrium, eight ovarian endometriotic, and 12 leuprolide acetate-treated endometriotic tissues. We compared the miRNA expression profiles of the three groups by performing TaqMan Array MicroRNA Card and bioinformatic analysis. Results: Two miRNAs, miR-939 and miR-154, were upregulated in endometriotic tissue and downregulated in leuprolide acetate-treated endometriotic tissue. Five miRNAs (miR-146a, miR-142-3p, miR-136*, miR-125b-1* and miR-15b*) were unchanged in endometriotic tissue but were upregulated under leuprolide acetate treatment. Ingenuity pathway analysis using predicted target genes for the seven identified miRNAs suggested the involvement of a range of pathways, including axonal guidance, bone morphogenetic protein, phosphatase and tensin homolog and nitric oxide signaling; molecular mechanisms of cancer; and the adipogenesis and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathways. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first report profiling the miRNAs of endometrioma under leuprolide acetate treatment. The expression of seven miRNAs was modulated, concomitant with the disease state. This result gives new insight into the effects of leuprolide acetate treatment. Further investigation using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry will allow us to validate the results of this study and to explore new therapeutic targets and biomarkers of endometriosis.
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