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Hum Reprod. 1994 Feb;9(2):253-8.

Progesterone control of interleukin-8 production in endometrium and chorio-decidual cells underlines the role of the neutrophil in menstruation and parturition.

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Medical Research Council Reproductive Biology Unit, University of Edinburgh Centre for Reproductive Biology, UK.


Interleukin-8 (IL-8) attracts neutrophils into tissues and causes them to degranulate. Both menstruation and parturition involve neutrophil migration into uterine tissues and therefore IL-8 is a likely mediator of the tissue re-arrangements that accompany these events. We have examined the ability of endometrium explants and chorion cells in culture to synthesize and release IL-8 and the ability of progesterone, a synthetic progestin [medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA)] and dexamethasone to inhibit this production. In endometrium, the stage of the menstrual cycle did not affect IL-8 production but a 10(-6) M concentration of progesterone or dexamethasone significantly reduced the concentration of IL-8 in medium after 24 h. After a further 24 h with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation, only MPA and dexamethasone inhibited production significantly. In chorion cells, IL-8 production was significantly decreased by both MPA and dexamethasone in the LPS stimulated cells but the reduction in the first 24 h was not significant. The IL-8 produced in uterine tissues might act synergistically with prostaglandin E (PGE), a likely site for this interaction being blood vessels where PGE production is also repressed by progesterone. Such a cooperative action would maintain low leukocyte entry into uterine tissues in the presence of progesterone and falling steroid levels would induce leukocyte immigration and activation with consequent tissue destruction. Such steroid-dependent interactions are important in our understanding of the mechanisms of menstruation and parturition and could allow new approaches to the treatment of uterine pathology.

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