Leiomyomas (fibroids) are common estrogen-dependent uterine tumors with no effective medicinal treatment; hysterectomy is the mainstay of management. This study was undertaken to investigate a potential therapy for leiomyoma; we used a mutated dominant-negative estrogen receptor gene delivered via an adenoviral vector (Ad-ER-DN). Ad-ER-DN transduction, in both human and rat leiomyoma cell lines, induced an increase in both caspase-3 levels and BAX/Bcl-2 ratio with evident apoptosis in the TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay. In nude mice, rat leiomyoma cells ex vivo transduced with Ad-ER-DN supported significantly smaller tumors compared with Ad-LacZ-treated cells 5 weeks after implantation. In mice treated by direct intratumor injection into preexisting lesions, Ad-ER-DN caused immediate overall arrest of tumor growth. The Ad-ER-DN-treated tumors demonstrated severely inhibited cell proliferation (BrdU index) and a marked increase in the number of apoptotic cells (TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling index). Dominant-negative estrogen receptor gene therapy may provide a nonsurgical treatment option for women with symptomatic uterine fibroids who want to preserve their uteri.
- Dominant-negative estrogen receptor
- Gene therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology