• Cytokines;
  • dendritic cells;
  • estradiol;
  • immunomodulation;
  • progesterone


Monocyte-derived dendritic cells (mDCs) are present in human decidua during the first month of pregnancy where they experience the effect of the increased concentration of progesterone (Pg) and estradiol (Estr). The aim of our study was to assess the effect of these reproductive hormones on the immunomodulatory role of mDCs.

Methods of study

The mDCs cultured in vitro in the presence of sex steroid hormones and characterized for their apoptosis and secretion of cytokines by flow cytometry, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and proteome profiler kit.


Female sex steroid hormones enhance the life cycle of mDCs, thus increasing the maturation and apoptosis, they also increase the production of interleukin (IL)-10 and IL-27 but only Pg increases the production of IL-13 and down regulates the secretion of IL-23.


The Pg and Estr participate in the regulation of the immune response during pregnancy by influencing apoptosis and the cytokine profile of the mDCs.