Problem:  During pregnancy, an adequate inflammatory control is essential for normal intrauterine foetus development. Vascular endothelium is known to play a critical role in regulation of inflammatory processes. We hypothesize a different ability of decidual endothelial cells (DEC) compared to endothelium from other districts to respond to inflammatory stimuli.

Material and Methods:  DEC were isolated and activated with inflammatory stimuli and their response in term of adhesion molecules expression, vascular leakage and cytokines production was evaluated. These data were compared to the data obtained with HUVEC and microvascular endothelial cells isolated from human skin (ADMEC) and from human endometrium (UtMEC).

Results:  Our observations indicate that DEC: 1. express low levels of adhesion molecules after inflammatory stimulation 2. are unable to respond to classic permeabilizing stimuli 3. present a different cytokine profile.

Conclusions:  Our results indicate that decidual endothelium has a different resting phenotype and shows an anti-inflammatory behavior compared to other microvascular endothelium.