2012 Volume 226 Issue 2 Pages 95-99
Endometriosis is defined as the existence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity, and it includes a chronic, inflammatory reaction associated with female infertility and pelvic pain. Endometriosis occurs in 7 to 10% of women. Although it has been studied for more than 50 years, the pathogenesis and development of endometriosis are still poorly understood. There is no curative therapy for endometriosis, which often recurs after surgical or medical treatment. There is a consensus that the adverse current of menstrual blood plays a crucial role in the development of endometriosis. This places a major limitation on research using rodent models of endometriosis, although these are still widely employed, because rodents do not menstruate and endometriosis does not occur spontaneously in these animals. In fact, menstruation and spontaneous endometriosis only occur in women and some non-human primates, making models that employ non-human primates the best animal models for research into the pathogenesis, pathophysiology, spontaneous onset, and treatment of endometriosis. This review assesses the effectiveness and potential of the non-human primate models of endometriosis. It also describes the current findings and theories on the pathogenesis of endometriosis that have been obtained by research using non-human primates.