Chemokine Bioactivity of RANTES is Elevated in the Sera of Infertile Women with Past Chlamydia trachomatis Infection


Address reprint requests to Hiroaki Shibahara, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jichi Medical School, 3311-1 Yakushiji, Minamikawachi-machi, Kawachi-gun, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.


PROBLEM:  It has been shown that Chlamydia trachomatis infection in infertile women is highly associated with tubal pathology. Chlamydia trachomatis antibody testing is a simple screening test for tubal factor subfertility, however, it is based on the detection of previous infection. Recently, association between some inflammatory diseases and chemokines has been investigated. This study was performed to clarify the relationship between chemokines in the sera of infertile women and past C. trachomatis infection.

METHOD OF STUDY:  Serum samples were collected from 10 infertile women having C. trachomatis antibodies [immunoglobulin (Ig)G and/or IgA] in their sera and 10 infertile women without the antibodies. All patients' tubo-ovarian structures were explored by transvaginal hydrolaparoscopy (THL). A CXC chemokine, interleukin-8, and six CC chemokines including macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α), MIP-1β, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), MCP-3, eotaxin, and regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) concentrations in their sera were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS:  The serum concentration of RANTES was significantly higher in patients with C. trachomatis antibodies than those without the antibodies (P = 0.019). However, there were no significant differences of the concentrations of other chemokines between the sera of infertile women with and without C. trachomatis antibodies. The concentration of RANTES in the sera of infertile women did not correlate with C. trachomatis antibody titers or tubal pathology diagnosed by THL.

CONCLUSIONS:  These findings might indicate significant roles of some chemokines in the pathogenesis of C. trachomatis infection. Further studies are necessary to study the usefulness of evaluations of chemokines in tubal infertility investigations.