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Developmental Immunology
Volume 6 (1998), Issue 1-2, Pages 105-110
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/1998/87527
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Hormonal Regulation of Uterine Macrophages

1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, Kansas 66160-7400, USA
2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, Kansas 66160-7400, USA

Received 30 May 1997; Accepted 30 May 1997

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Macrophages are major cellular inhabitants of cycling and pregnant mammalian uteri. Their densities and patterns of tissue distribution in this organ fluctuate in concert with levels of circulating female sex steroid hormones, estrogens and progesterone, and their production of various effector molecules also may be hormonally regulated. Hormonal control may be achieved by direct binding to receptors or by indirect pathways where hormones modulate production of various autocrine and paracrine cytokines and growth factors that then target to resident macrophages and influence their secretory profiles. In this paper, we marshall evidence supporting the concept that progesterone acts as a powerful negative regulator of these versatile cells, reducing their migration into the uterus and impairing their ability to produce potent effector molecules such as nitric oxide that could interfere with the success of pregnancy.