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Table 1 Molecular pathways of endometriosis

From: Extrapelvic endometriosis: a rare entity or an under diagnosed condition?

Past theories  
Von Recklinghausen (1885) Embryonic mesonephric elements
Grunwald (1942) Fetal cells of Muller resources can be converted into endometrial cells
Metaplasia theory (Meyers 1903) Metaplasia of the peritoneal serosa cuff differentiation of mesothelial cells of the peritoneum
Theory of dispersion and transplantation (Halban, Sampson) Dispersion of endometrial cells through lymphatic vessels and hematogenous spread
Theory of induction (Merril) Combination of the previous theories
Modern theories combine  
Estrogens Estrogen dependent
Genetics Hereditary (10q26, 7p15.2)
Transplantation Direct spread
Immune system Incapability of the immune system
Context Environmental factors
Congenital defect Atretic hymen
Ectopic endometrial implantation via retrograde menses  
Cellular level Development of monoclonal tissue with characteristics of malignant behavior
Molecular level Enzymes of the extracellular matrix act to endometriosis or in normal endometrium of women with endometriosis
MMP-9/TIMP-1 Stamatowicz et al.
MMP-9/TIMP-3 Chung et al.
MMP-5 type membranes increase Gaetje et al.
MMP-3/uPA Ramon et al.
VEGF/MMP-3/uPA Gillabert –Estelles et al.
VEGF/MMP-2/CD44/Ki67 Kim et al.
PAI/TIMP-1 Gillabert –Estelles et al.
IL-1/MMP-1 Hudelist et al.