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Int Immunopharmacol. 2001 Jun;1(6):1037-48.

Progesterone as an immunomodulatory molecule.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Pecs University Medical School, 12 Szigeti Str., H-7643 Pecs, Hungary.


Increased progesterone sensitivity of pregnancy lymphocytes is due to activation-induced appearance of progesterone binding sites in the lymphocytes. Following recognition of fetally derived antigens gamma/delta TCR+ cells develop progesterone receptors. Progesterone binding results in the synthesis of a mediator protein named the progesterone-induced blocking factor (PIBF). PIBF by acting on the phospholipase A2 enzyme interferes with arachidonic acid metabolism, induces a Th2 biased immune response, and by controlling NK activity exerts an anti-abortive effect.

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