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Saba Hajazimian, Masoud Maleki, Shahla Danaei Mehrabad and Alireza Isazadeh

Endometriosis is a relatively benign disease characterized by endometrial tumors and uterus stroma. Apoptosis suppression is one of the most important pathological processes of endometriosis. Recently, several studies reported that human Wharton’s jelly stem cells (hWJSCs) can inhibit growth and proliferation of various cancer cells through induction of apoptosis. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of hWJSCs conditioned medium (hWJSC-CM) and cell-free lysate (hWJSC-CL) on endometriosis cells in vitro. In the present study, effects of different concentrations of hWJSC-CM and hWJSC-CL on viability and proliferation, morphological alterations, colony formation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis of endometriosis cells were evaluated. Our results showed that hWJSC-CM and hWJSC-CL decrease viability and proliferation, colony formation, migration, and invasion, as well as increase morphological alterations and apoptosis of endometriosis cells, in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Decreased migration and invasion of treated endometriosis cells with hWJSC-CM and hWJSC-CL may be due to decrease of MMP-2 and MMP-9 gene expression. Moreover, induction of apoptosis in treated endometriosis cells can be due to regulation of apoptosis-related genes expression, including BAX, BCL-2, SMAC, and SURVIVIN. The results of the present study suggest that hWJSC-CM and hWJSC-CL can inhibit endometriosis cells at a mild-to-moderate level through various physiological mechanisms. However, further studies on animal models are necessary to achieve more accurate results.