Uterine Stem Cells and Benign Gynecological Disorders: Role in Pathobiology and Therapeutic Implications

Malak El Sabeh, Sadia Afrin, Bhuchitra Singh, Mariko Miyashita-Ishiwata, Mostafa Borahay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Stem cells in the endometrium and myometrium possess an immense regenerative potential which is necessary to maintain the menstrual cycle and support pregnancy. These cells, as well as bone marrow stem cells, have also been implicated in the development of common benign gynecological disorders including leiomyomas, endometriosis and adenomyosis. Current evidence suggests the conversion of uterine stem cells to tumor initiating stem cells in leiomyomas, endometriosis stem cells, and adenomyosis stem cells, acquiring genetic and epigenetic alterations for the progression of each benign condition. In this comprehensive review, we aim to summarize the progress that has been made to characterize the involvement of stem cells in the pathogenesis of benign gynecologic conditions which, despite their enormous burden, are not yet fully understood. We focus on the stem cell characteristics and aberrations that contribute to the development of benign gynecological disorders and the possible clinical implications of what is known so far. Lastly, we discuss the role of uterine stem cells in the setting of regenerative medicine, particularly in the treatment of Asherman syndrome. Graphical abstract[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-820
Number of pages18
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Adenomyosis
  • Endometriosis
  • Leiomyoma
  • Uterine stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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