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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Phenotype and Functionality of CD4+and CD8+T Cells in the Upper Reproductive Tract of Healthy Premenopausal Women

  • Author(s): Shanmugasundaram, U
  • Critchfield, JW
  • Pannell, J
  • Perry, J
  • Giudice, LC
  • Smith-Mccune, K
  • Greenblatt, RM
  • Shacklett, BL
  • et al.

Published Web Location

Problem: The goal of this study was to investigate the phenotype and functional responsiveness of CD4+and CD8+T-cells in the upper reproductive tract of healthy premenopausal women. The lower reproductive tract is frequently studied as a site of sexually transmitted infections; however, the upper reproductive tract may also be a portal of entry and dissemination for pathogens, including HIV-1. Method of Study: Endometrial biopsy, endocervical curettage, cytobrush, and blood were collected during mid-luteal phase from 23 healthy women. T-cells were isolated and analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: As compared with their counterparts in blood, endometrial and endocervical T-cells had enhanced CCR5 expression, and were enriched for activated, effector memory cells. Endometrial T-cells were more responsive to polyclonal stimuli, producing a broad range of cytokines and chemokines. Conclusion: These findings underscore the responsiveness of endometrial T-cells to stimulation, and reveal their activated phenotype. These findings also suggest susceptibility of the upper reproductive tract to HIV-1 infection. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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