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Biol Reprod. 1985 Feb;32(1):90-5.

Estradiol and progesterone regulation of immunoglobulin A and G and secretory component in cervicovaginal secretions of the rat.


The present study examined the influence of hormones on the levels of immunoglobulins A (IgA) and G (IgG) and secretory component (SC) in cervicovaginal secretions of ovariectomized rats. Administration of estradiol to ovariectomized rats resulted in a significant decline in cervicovaginal content of IgA, IgG and SC. This response was dose dependent and was not prevented by administration of dexamethasone, a potent synthetic glucocorticoid, with estradiol. Treatment of ovariectomized rats with progesterone also lowered the levels of IgA and SC in cervicovaginal secretions. In contrast, dexamethasone had no apparent vaginal effect. The action of estradiol on cervicovaginal IgA, IgG and SC appears to be independent of uterine influence. This conclusion is based upon our observation that estrogen treatment of rats with ligations at their uterocervical junction still have decreased cervicovaginal IgA and SC levels. In parallel with this inhibitory effect, estradiol administration stimulated the accumulation of IgA and SC in uterine secretions. These findings indicate that the sex hormones play a role in regulating IgA, IgG and SC content in cervicovaginal secretions. In addition, it suggests that hormonal balance in females may influence the immune response of the reproductive tract to infectious disease.

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