The genetic epidemiology of spontaneous endometriosis in the rhesus monkey.
Zondervan K., Cardon L., Desrosiers R., Hyde D., Kemnitz J., Mansfield K., Roberts J., Scheffler J., Weeks DE., Kennedy S.
The etiology of endometriosis is uncertain, but there is increasing evidence that it is inherited as a complex genetic trait like diabetes or asthma. In such complex traits, multiple gene loci conferring susceptibility to the disease interact with each other and the environment to produce the phenotype. The study of such interactions in humans can be problematic. Thus, the availability of an animal model, which shares many aspects of anatomy and physiology with humans, is potentially a valuable tool for investigating the genetic epidemiology of the disease. Since endometriosis develops spontaneously in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) and the tissue is morphologically identical to its human counterpart, this population provides a unique opportunity to conduct such studies in this condition.