Establishment of a rat model for uterine leiomyomas based on Western and traditional Chinese medicine theories
Uterine leiomyomas (ULs) are benign monoclonal tumors that arise from the underlying myometrial tissue in the uterus. Effective therapies are still lacking because of poor understanding of the pathophysiology and epidemiology. Hence, it is urgent to establish efficient animal models to screen novel anti-UL therapies. In this study, for the first time, traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine were combined to establish an animal model of ULs in rats. In order to evaluate the function and value of the novel model, it was compared with other models. The long-term and short-term rat models for ULs were established using progesterone and diethylstilbestrol. Rats in Qi stagnation and blood stasis group were injected with epinephrine hydrochloride and received chronic unpredictable stress for two weeks. Rats in combining disease with syndrome group (CDWSG) received not only epinephrine hydrochloride injection and chronic unpredictable stress but also progesterone and diethylstilbestrol treatment. We analyzed differences in organ coefficient, uterus size, uterine pathology, concentrations of progesterone, estradiol, progesterone receptor, estrogen receptor, expression of desmin, α-smooth muscle actin, and vimentin among the five groups. The animal model of ULs was successfully constructed by loading the rats with estrogen and progesterone. The rat model of CDWSG was more stable than other groups and the method was the most efficient.