Suppressor macrophages in early pregnancy human decidua

Authors

  • Charlotte M. Lidström,

    1. Clinical Research Center, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden;
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  • Leif S. Matthiesen,

    1. Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden;
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  • Göran Berg,

    1. Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden;
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  • Surendra Sharma,

    1. Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology, Brown University and Women and Infants' Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, RI 02905, USA
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  • Jan H. Ernerudh,

    1. Clinical Research Center, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden;
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  • Christia B. Ekerfelt

    1. Clinical Research Center, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden;
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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:  Local immune modulation has been shown to be of considerable importance for successful pregnancy. We have previously detected the secretion of IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-10 in human decidua from early normal pregnancy. The aim of this study was to investigate the cell types in decidua, as well as in peripheral blood, responsible for cytokine secretion.

METHODS:  Decidual tissue and peripheral blood was collected from 20 healthy women undergoing surgical abortion during first trimester pregnancy. Monocytes/macrophages and NK cells were obtained by magnetic cell separation and the cytokine secretion was detected by a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot-forming cell (ELISPOT) assay.

RESULTS:  Decidual and peripheral monocytes/ macrophages and NK cells spontaneously secrete IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-10. The number of IL-10 secreting cells was significantly higher among decidual macrophages compared with decidual non-monocytic cells and blood monocytes/macrophages. These differences were not seen for IFN-γ or IL-4. Our results indicate that macrophages subserve important suppressive functions in the pregnant uterus.

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