PROBLEM: Emerging evidences suggest that immunoendocrine interactions play definitive roles during development and regression of the human menstrual corpus luteum (hmCL). We have studied the distribution of immune cells within individual structures of hmCL during various stages of its development.
METHOD: Immunoperoxidase-stained ultra-thin frozen sections were evaluated using light microscopy fitted with an image analysis system.
RESULTS: The results suggest that monocytes/ macrophages and MHC class II positive cells are the most prominent immune cells within the hmCL throughout its whole lifespan. Both cell types are concentrated within the trabeculae. In addition, MHC class II positive cells are abundant also within the granulosa-luteal layer. T helper/inductor (Th/i) and T cytotoxic/suppressor (Tc/s) cells were detected only in minor amounts within the thecal trabeculae of mature tissue.
CONCLUSIONS: Possible links between the occurrence and functional roles of the immune cells studied are discussed.