Phenotype and Functionality of CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells in the Upper Reproductive Tract of Healthy Premenopausal Women
The goal of this study was to investigate the phenotype and functional responsiveness of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in the upper reproductive tract of healthy premenopausal women. The lower reproductive tract is frequently studied as a site of sexually transmitted infections; however, the upper reproductive tract may also be a portal of entry and dissemination for pathogens, including HIV-1.
Method of Study
Endometrial biopsy, endocervical curettage, cytobrush, and blood were collected during mid-luteal phase from 23 healthy women. T-cells were isolated and analyzed by flow cytometry.
As compared with their counterparts in blood, endometrial and endocervical T-cells had enhanced CCR5 expression, and were enriched for activated, effector memory cells. Endometrial T-cells were more responsive to polyclonal stimuli, producing a broad range of cytokines and chemokines.
These findings underscore the responsiveness of endometrial T-cells to stimulation, and reveal their activated phenotype. These findings also suggest susceptibility of the upper reproductive tract to HIV-1 infection.