Published for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology by IRL Press
Human Reproduction vol:20 issue:11 pages:3033-38
BACKGROUND: Serum CA-125 during the mid-follicular phase has been reported to be a clinically useful and reproducible marker in the diagnosis of advanced endometriosis in women. This study was undertaken to document the effect of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and lymphocyte suppression on CA-125 levels in peritoneal fluid (PF) and serum in baboons with a normal pelvis and baboons with endometriosis. METHODS: CA-125 levels were measured in 264 serum samples that were serially obtained during one menstrual cycle from 10 animals with and without endometriosis. In addition, CA-125 levels were determined in 204 archived samples (serum, n = 112 and PF, n = 92) obtained from 32 female baboons with or without endometriosis. The CA-125 assays were performed by radioimmunoassay using kits from Centocor (Malvern, PA, USA). RESULTS: Serum CA-125 levels were at their highest during menstruation and decreased progressively during the follicular and luteal phase. PF CA-125 levels were increased during the follicular phase in baboons with a normal pelvis, but no cyclic changes were observed in animals with endometriosis. Serum CA-125 levels were unaffected by induction, lymphocyte suppression or pregnancy. Induction of endometriosis resulted in increased PF CA-125 levels, whereas lymphocyte suppression or pregnancy had no effect. CONCLUSION: In baboons, serum CA-125 originates mainly from eutopic endometrium whereas the main source of PF CA-125 seems to be the peritoneum or ectopic endometrium. The baboon appears to be a valid model to further study the relationship between endometriosis and CA-125.