Characterization of endometriosis-associated immune cell infiltrates (EMaICI)
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To identify and characterize endometriosis-associated immune cell infiltrates (EMaICI). Furthermore, to define occurrence and size of EMaICI in various types of endometriosis.
Immune cells were characterized in samples of 60 premenopausal women with histological proven endometriosis. Therefore, immunohistochemical staining with monoclonal antibodies for CD3, CD4, CD8, CD45RO, CD25, CD56, CD68, and CD20 on sections of paraffin-embedded endometriotic tissue was performed.
EMaICI were observed in all the types of endometriosis, and characterized as T lymphocytes (CD3+), helper T lymphocytes (CD4+), cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CD8+), antigen-experienced T lymphocytes”memory cells” (CD45RO+), macrophages (CD68+), and B lymphocytes (CD20+). The maximum frequency of EMaICI and their distribution per endometriotic lesion (EML) was observed in peritoneal endometriosis (pEM) and in ovarian endometriosis (Ov. EM). In myometrium from adenomyosis (M/AM), EMaICI occurrence was lower and smaller in size in comparison with EMaICI seen in other forms of endometriosis. EMaICI were negative for regulatory T cells (CD25+ high, FoxP3+) and natural killer cells (NK cells, CD56+).
Numerous and brisk EMaICI comprising several types of immune cells in all endometriosis forms suggest acute immunological reactions within the microenvironment of endometriosis lesions.
KeywordsEndometriosis Immune cell infiltrates Chronic inflammatory disease Immune cell defect
Cluster of differentiation
Deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis
Endometriosis disease theory
Endometriosis-associated immune cell infiltrates
Endometrium from patients with peritoneal EM
Endometrium from adenomyosis
Endometrium from uterus myomatosus, used as control
Immune cell infiltrates
Myometrium from adenomyosis
Myometrium from myomatosus uterus, used as control
Natural killer cells
Non-lesional peritoneum, used as control
Non-lesional ovarium, used as control
- Ov. EM
- p EM
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors of this work declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study involving human samples were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Charité ethics committee. The study was approved by the IRB of Charité ethics committee (EA) and informed consent was obtained from all patients.
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