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Mol Hum Reprod. 2005 Oct;11(10):751-60. Epub 2005 Oct 27.

Differential regulation of interleukins IL-13 and IL-15 by ovarian steroids, TNF-alpha and TGF-beta in human endometrial epithelial and stromal cells.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610-0294, USA.

Abstract

Based on the endometrial spatial and temporal expression of interleukins (ILs) IL-13 and IL-15 during the normal menstrual cycle, we hypothesized that ovarian steroids and non-steroidal factors regulate their expression in a cell-specific manner. To test this hypothesis and determine IL-13/IL-15 actions, we used endometrial epithelial (EEC) and stromal (ESC) cells isolated and cultured under defined conditions. We confirmed the expression of IL-13 and IL-15 in these cells and further demonstrated that 17beta estradiol (E2), medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and their combination differentially regulated their mRNA expression and protein production in a time- and cell-specific manner (P < 0.05). We also showed that tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha; 10 and 25 ng/ml) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta; 1 and 5 ng/ml), cytokines with inflammatory and immune regulatory functions in a cell- and dose-dependent manner regulate the expression of IL-13 and IL-15 (P < 0.05). Functionally, IL-13 and IL-15 1-100 ng/ml displayed a limited mitogenic activity towards EEC and ESC; however, they regulated the expression of TNF receptor type 1 (TNFR) mRNA and soluble protein in a cell-specific manner (P < 0.05). We conclude that ovarian steroids, TNF-alpha and TGF-beta act as key regulators of endometrial IL-13 and IL-15 expression which act locally regulating TNFR expression in a cell-specific manner. Based on these findings, we conclude that IL-13/IL-15, either alone or through their interactions with other cytokines, influence the outcome of endometrial inflammatory/immune responses during the normal menstrual cycle, and due to their altered expression may extend these processes in dysfunctional bleeding and endometriosis.

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