Immunocompetent cells in the endometrium of fetuses and children
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 18, Number 5, May 2003 , pp. 969-975(7)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Although the immunocompetent cells of the adult human endometrium are well characterized, there is little information about these cells in the developing uterus. This study was undertaken to investigate the distribution of leukocyte subpopulations in the endometrium of fetuses and children. METHODS: Uterine tissue obtained at autopsy from fetuses (n = 11) and neonates/children (n = 9) between 17 weeks gestation and 5½ years of age was investigated with antibodies against various leukocyte subsets by immunohistochemical staining techniques. RESULTS: The densities of CD45+ and CD68+ cells were significantly higher in the endometrium of neonates/children than in that of fetuses. CD14+ monocytes represented the largest leukocyte subpopulation in both groups. CD56+ natural killer cells and HLA-DR+ antigen-presenting cells were absent from fetal endometrium. There were no differences in density of CD3+ T cells between the two groups, but CD4+ T helper cells were found only in fetal endometrium. CONCLUSIONS: The endometrial leukocyte population of fetuses and small children is different from that seen in adult women. The appearance of CD56+ and HLA-DR+ cells in endometrium seems to be a post-natal event, which may be induced by the changes in hormone levels and/or the adaptation of the local immune system to the changing microenvironment.
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Strasse 4, D-97080 Würzburg and 2: Department of Pathology University of Tübingen, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
Publication date: 2003-05-01
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.