Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor in adenomyosis and autologous endometrium

Anthony M. Propst, Bradley J. Quade, Romana A. Nowak, Elizabeth A. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has been related to macrophage recruitment and activation and has been identified in the human endometrium. We determined whether adenomyosis expresses GM-CSF, and if present, compared GM-CSF protein expression in adenomyosis with that in autologous endometrium. Methods: We examined ectopic and eutopic endometrium from 16 premenopausal women who had hysterectomies for abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, or uterine prolapse. Serial sections of premenopausal uteri containing endometrium and adenomyosis were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for GM-CSF ligand and receptor and CD68 macrophages. We analyzed the intensity of staining for GM-CSF ligand and receptor and macrophages in the glandular epithelium and stroma of adenomyosis and autologous endometrium. Results: The GM-CSF ligand localized primarily in the glandular epithelium and myometrium with only light stromal staining. Staining for GM-CSF ligand was significantly higher in adenomyotic glands compared with autologous endometrial glands (P = .002), especially during the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle. There were no statistical differences in the amount and intensity of staining of the GM-CSF receptor in adenomyosis and autologous endometrium. Adenomyotic tissue contained significantly more macrophages than matched autologous endometrium (P = .0004). Conclusions: Adenomyotic glandular epithelium had greater expression of the GM-CSF ligand compared with autologous endometrium from premenopausal women, which indicates that GM-CSF may play a role in increasing the levels of activated macrophages in women with adenomyosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenomyosis
  • Endometrium
  • GM-CSF
  • Macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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