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Am J Reprod Immunol Microbiol. 1986 Feb;10(2):47-52.

Effect of oral contraceptives on leukocyte phagocytic activity and plasma levels of prostaglandin E2 and thromboxane B2 in normal menstruating women.


Mononuclear and polymorphonuclear cells were isolated from the peripheral blood of normal menstruating women. Four of the subjects were not using oral contraceptives and five were taking various formulations. The women were tested once a week for 12 consecutive weeks. Plasma levels of 6-keto-prostaglandin F2 alpha (6-KF), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), thromboxane B2 (TxB2), estrogen, and progesterone were measured by specific radioimmunoassays. The phagocytic activity of the mononuclear and polymorphonuclear cells isolated from the peripheral blood was measured with a bacterial phagocytosis and killing assay. The phagocytic activity of both types of cells was depressed perimenstrually in both groups of women. However, examination of individuals showed that those subjects not taking oral contraceptives had a worsening of phagocytic activities with approaching menses while the oral contraceptive subjects generally had an improving of these activities at this time. We were unable to correlate the phagocytic activities with either hormone or prostaglandin levels in the plasma of these subjects. However, the subjects on oral contraceptives had significantly lower levels of PGE2 and TxB2 than those women who were not using oral contraceptives.

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