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Spontaneous secretion of interleukin-4, interleukin-10 and interferon-gamma by first trimester decidual mononuclear cells
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3993-9985
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre of Paediatrics and Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
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2002 (English)In: American Journal of reproductive immunology, ISSN 8755-8920, Vol. 47, no 3, 159-166 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PROBLEM: A T-helper cell type 2 (Th2) cytokine dominated microenvironment has been predicted to be crucial for successful pregnancy. However, little information is available about local cytokine secretion in the human decidua. We determined the spontaneous secretion of interleukin-4 (IL-4), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IL-10 by decidual mononuclear cells at the single cell level and compared it with their secretion by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in the first trimester of pregnancy.

METHODS OF STUDY: The cytokine secretion from decidual and blood cells was detected by a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot-forming cell (ELISPOT)-assay.

RESULTS: Cells secreting IL-4 (median 153, range 8–530), IL-10 (median 188, range 32–1600) and IFN-γ (median 123, range 15–1140) were detected in all decidual and blood samples. The cytokine secretion showed a co-linear pattern in both the blood and decidua, i.e. when one cytokine was secreted at high levels, the others followed the trend. No correlation was found between the number of cytokine secreting cells in blood and decidua for any of the cytokines.

CONCLUSIONS: Interleukin-4 and IL-10 are locally secreted in the decidua early during normal pregnancy, probably counteracting the fetal rejecting effects of co-expressed IFN-γ. The cytokine secretion by blood cells does not generally reflect the local secretion pattern during first trimester pregnancy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 47, no 3, 159-166 p.
Keyword [en]
Decidua, inteferon-γ, interleukin-10, interleukin-4, pregnancy
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14684DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0897.2002.1o057.xOAI: diva2:24258
Available from: 2007-10-10 Created: 2007-10-10 Last updated: 2013-08-29
In thesis
1. Local Immune regulation in human pregnancy: with focus on decidual macrophages
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local Immune regulation in human pregnancy: with focus on decidual macrophages
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During pregnancy, the woman carries a fetus partly foreign to her immune system, because of the expression of paternal antigens. Despite this, the fetus is normally tolerated and not rejected, as is often the case with organs in allogeneic transplantations. Systemic changes in maternal blood occur during pregnancy but, perhaps of greater importance, are changes in tissues locally in the uterus. The pregnant uterine endometrium, the decidua, is infiltrated by large numbers of leukocytes, mainly natural killer (NK) cells but also macrophages and T lymphocytes. Further, various cytokines are known to be secreted at the fetomaternal interface. However, the functions of these cells and the cytokine networks are not fully understood. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the local immune balance in normal human pregnancy decidua, both in the early phase of pregnancy and at parturition.

First trimester decidual mononuclear cells, NK cells and macrophages were all shown to secrete IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-10, as detected by ELISPOT. The secretion was not mirrored in blood from the same subjects. A significantly larger number of decidual macrophages secreted IL-10 than did their blood counterparts, indicating potential regulatory functions of this cell type.

Further examination of early pregnancy decidual macrophages by microarray revealed 120 genes being differentially regulated at the transcriptional level in decidual compared to blood monocytes/macrophages. Several genes were associated with alternative activation/M2 polarization of macrophages, including CCL-18, CD209, IGF-1, MRC-1 and FN-1. Genes connected to immune regulation and tissue remodelling were common, in line with the potential functions for this cell type in utero. In addition, some molecules not previously connected to decidual macrophages, such as TREM-2, A2M and PGDS, were found to be upregulated, gaining new insights into the regulatory functions of decidual macrophages.

Term decidual mononuclear cells spontaneously secrete IFN-γ, TNF, IL-4, IL-10, and TGF-β. No differences were seen between tissues obtained before and after the onset of labour, indicating that decidual mononuclear cells are not the main cell population responsible for plausible cytokine regulation in the process of labour induction. Placental and fetal membranes as well as cells in the maternal systemic circulation may instead contribute to a possible shift in immune balance prior to pregnancy termination.

In conclusion, decidual leukocytes, including NK cells and macrophages, are potential producers of both Th1-like/pro-inflammatory and Th2-like/anti-inflammatory cytokines in early pregnancy as well as at parturition. Decidual macrophages are of a specialized phenotype with effector functions contributing to a proper invasion of the placenta and to immunological protection of the semi-allogeneic fetus. This thesis adds new knowledge on local immune balance during normal human pregnancy, however, the clinical significance of the presented data needs to be clarified.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, 2007. 68 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1016
reproduction, placenta, leukocyte, ELISPOT
National Category
Immunology in the medical area
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-9985 (URN)978-91-85895-85-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-10-19, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2007-10-10 Created: 2007-10-10 Last updated: 2013-08-29

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Ekerfelt, ChristinaMatthiesen, LeifBerg, GöranErnerudh, Jan
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Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineFaculty of Health SciencesObstetrics and gynecology Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics in LinköpingClinical Immunology Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine
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