Progesterone modulation of inflammatory cytokine production in a fetoplacental artery explant model

Department OB/GYN, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA 98431, USA.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.7). 10/2005; 193(3 Pt 2):1144-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2005.05.046
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to determine if progesterone has an effect on fetoplacental artery production of inflammatory cytokines.
Chorionic plate arteries were dissected from 5 placentas obtained from normal pregnancies after delivery at term. Arteries were incubated in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM) alone, DMEM and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), DMEM with progesterone (P4), and DMEM with P4 and LPS. Samples of the tissue culture media were collected and evaluated for interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and interleukin-10 (IL-10) by immunoassay.
There was a significant decrease in the production of IL-6 in P4-exposed fetoplacental arteries after LPS stimulation (P < .001). IL-10 and TNF-alpha levels were similar in control and treatment groups after LPS exposure.
Pretreating fetoplacental arteries with P4 significantly decreased the production of IL-6 after LPS stimulation without altering the production of TNF-alpha or IL-10.

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    • "Therefore, it is likely that paracrine factors such as cytokines and chemokines act as effectors of steroid hormones, thus enabling systemic immune modulation in the absence of leukocyte steroid receptors. In fact, there is ample evidence in the literature for regulation of immune function by progesterone through its effect on smooth muscle, stromal, and perivascular cells (Gotkin et al., 2006; Hardy et al., 2006; Luk et al., 2010; Shields et al., 2005; Shynlova et al., 2008). Due to its multiple cellular targets, a comprehensive dissection of cell specific signaling, as well as direct downstream targets of PR, is necessary to understand the multiple immune-modulatory functions of progesterone. "
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