Endometriosis (EDT), a common estrogen-dependent inflammatory disorder, is characterized by endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus. While its pathogenesis is poorly understood, it is supposed that the immune system plays a role in its pathophysiology, and increased number of immune cells and changes in both cell-mediated and humoral immunity have been described. Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells (APC) of the immune system that recognize, capture, and process complex antigens and present them to T cells, conferring them a unique ability as mediators between the innate and adaptive immune systems. This systematic review aims to enlighten possible disturbances (systemically and locally) of DCs in the development and progression of endometriosis. A search using the strategy: (“dendritic cells” AND “immunology” AND “endometriosis”) in databases resulted in 490 citations; after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 13 studies were assessed. The evaluated studies demonstrated that DCs are susceptible to pro-endometriotic changes which could inhibit immature DCs (imDCs) from their maturation and induce imDCs into a macrophage phenotype. In addition, the growth and vascularization of endometriosis requires the presence of endogenous DC, which infiltrate endometriotic lesions and enhance endothelial cell migration by secreting proangiogenic factors. Whereas DC maturation suppresses this response, imDC actively promote angiogenesis and growth, leading to a switch in their immunologic role from presenting antigens to support angiogenesis and EDT progression.
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