MEDICAL science is still to fully understand the mechanism that led to the formation of uterine myoma, technically called “leiomyoma.” However, regardless of the limited certainty, its development had been established as associated with disharmonious surges of steroid hormones during a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle.
Experts agree that the key factor appears to be progesterone. However, medical research found more underlying factors that could have contributed to the abnormal proliferation of uterine cells that create myomas and increase their size through time.
First, the normal damage repair mechanism in the uterus appeared to fail. Because of the regular changes in the uterus during the menstrual cycle (preparing the uterus for conception and then cleaning up the womb when no conception occurs), a balance must be maintained between a temporary increase in the number of uterine cells and then reducing them back to normal levels.
In uterine myoma, that balance failed so that cellular production increased with no balancing process reducing them, such as apoptosis, which is the normal destruction of cells to repair a tissue. This happens because of the presence of the p53 protein, which blocks apoptosis from happening. The p53 protein cannot be found in the normal uterus.
Second, studies observed that in uterine myomas, the normal antioxidant system in the uterus is impaired. Enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase and catalase, that mediate antioxidant processes in the uterus are absent. These enzymes are active in normal smooth muscle cells in the uterus. This lack of antioxidative process may have caused the mutation of the mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) gene in uterine myoma.
This gene provides the instruction to produce the MED12 protein, which is one of the 25 proteins that regulates gene transcription activity involved in cell growth, cell migration, and cell maturity. If the MED12 gene mutates, cell growth proliferates abnormally, which happens in the uterine myoma tumor.
Michal Ciebiera and eight other researchers observed that an elevated serum level of TGF-ß3 (transforming growth factor beta 3) is an indicator on a potential development of uterine myoma. Thus, females of reproductive age can have themselves tested for their serum level to anticipate the danger and make necessary dietary and behavioral changes.