The importance of the macrophage within the human endometrium

Uma Thiruchelvam, Ian Dransfield, Philippa T K Saunders, Hilary O D Critchley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The human endometrium is exposed to cyclical fluctuations of ovarian-derived sex steroids resulting in proliferation, differentiation (decidualization), and menstruation. An influx of leukocytes (up to 15% macrophages) occurs during the latter stages of the menstrual cycle, including menses. We believe the endometrial macrophage is likely to play an important role during the menstrual cycle, especially in the context of tissue degradation (menstruation), which requires regulated repair, regeneration, and phagocytic clearance of endometrial tissue debris to re-establish tissue integrity in preparation for fertility. The phenotype and regulation of the macrophage within the endometrium during the menstrual cycle and interactions with other cell types that constitute the endometrium are currently unknown and are important areas of study. Understanding the many roles of the endometrial macrophage is crucial to our body of knowledge concerning functionality of the endometrium as well as to our understanding of disorders of the menstrual cycle, which have major impacts on the health and well-being of women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Volume93
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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