• Amniochorion;
  • choriodecidua;
  • fetal membranes;
  • inflammation;
  • labor


Human parturition is associated with an intrauterine pro-inflammatory environment in the choriodecidua. Evidence that some mediators of this signaling cascade also elicit responses leading to labor prompted us to characterize the cellular sources of these mediators in the human choriodecidua.

Method of study

Leukocyte-enriched preparations from human choriodecidua (ChL) and intervillous placental blood leukocytes (PL) were maintained in culture. Secretions of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and MMP-9 were documented. Leukocyte phenotype of ChL and PL was determined by flow cytometry using specific fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies.

Results and Conclusions

ChL showed a distinct pro-inflammatory secretion pattern of cytokines and chemokines when compared with PL, including higher amounts of TNF-α and IL-6, and decreased secretions of IL-4 and IL-1ra. ChL also secreted more MIP-1α and MCP-1 and MMP-9 than PL. No significant differences were found in leukocytes subsets between compartments. Based on our findings, we propose that ChL isolated from fetal membranes at term are functionally different from PL and may collaborate to modulate the microenvironment linked to induction and progression of human labor.