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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aniara 2008 Grant Winner is Dr. Krikun

Dr. KrikunAniara Grant
2008 Coagulation Grant Winner

Aniara is happy to announce the winner of the 2008 Aniara grant in the amount of $5000.
Endometriosis is a major women's health problem, characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity causing pelvic adhesions, focal bleeding, infertility and pain. Its diagnosis is exceedingly difficult as symptoms are non-specific and definitive diagnoses require laparoscopy. Irrespective of etiology, long-term survival of endometriotic implants is associated with marked angiogenesis. In certain malignant and inflammatory states, tissue factor (TF) induces a potent pro-angiogenic milieu. We have previously shown that eutopic endometria from women with endometriosis display increased endometrial glandular epithelial cell TF expression. Moreover, endometriotic implants display aberrant expression of TF in endothelial cells and intense expression in macrophages. By contrast, in healthy women, TF levels are highest in the stromal cells of eutopic endometrium with minimal expression in epithelial cells. In the circulation, TF is associated with microvesicles. Inflammation results in increased shedding of microvesicles into the circulation. The central hypothesis of this proposal is that growth and angiogenesis of ectopic endometriotic tissue is associated with enhanced TF expression in endometrial epithelial, stromal and endothelial cells as well as leukocytes resulting in excessive shedding of TF-containing microvesicles into the circulation. Hence, we propose to study a cohort of women with and without endometriosis to establish if this disease can be detectable without the need for surgery.
In summary we will collect blood and intraperitoneal fluid and test for total microparticle expression in controls vs. patients. We will assess the percent of TF-expressing microparticles and will try to identify the cellular source of the microparticles. These studies represent bench-to-bedside translational research and have the potential to result in non-invasive methods of detection as well as the ability to follow progression of the disease.

Graciela Krikun, PhD
Dept. Ob/Gyn & Rep. Endo.
Director: Unit of Endometrial angiogenesis and hemostasis
Yale University, SOM
New Haven, CT. USA

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