ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Timed Sexual Intercourse Facilitates the Recruitment of Uterine CD56bright Natural Killer Cells in Women with Infertility

Authors


Atsushi Fukui, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, 5 Zaifu-cho, Hirosaki, Aomori 036-8562, Japan.
E-mail: atsushi@cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Problem  The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of sexual intercourse on uterine NK cell subsets.

Method of study  Mid-secretory endometrial samples obtained from 56 women were submitted for flow cytometric analysis. Basal body temperature was used to determine the day of ovulation. A total of 27 women had sexual intercourse before ovulation (pre-ovulation group) and eight women had only after ovulation (post-ovulation group) without any contraceptive devices. A total of 21 women did not have sexual intercourse during the experimental cycle (abstinence group). Endometrial NK cells were analyzed for the expression of CD16 and CD56 using 3-color flow cytometry.

Results  CD16/CD56bright cells were markedly increased in the pre-ovulation group as compared with that of the post-ovulation group (P < 0.01) and the abstinence group (P < 0.01). CD16+/CD56dim cells were significantly decreased in the pre-ovulation group as compared with that of the post-ovulation group (P < 0.01) and the abstinence group (P < 0.05).

Conclusion  It is suggested that seminal plasma participates in the recruitment of CD56bright NK cells into endometrium.

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