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Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules identification in vaginal cells during menstrual cycle

Socrates A-R. Megoulas, Amalia Savvidi, Stelios Fiorentzis, Mihail Tziolas.




Abstract
Cited by 0 Articles

Causes of subfertility in women are under investigation, with the vaginal canal being the first barrier before the fertilization and implantation process. Although the mechanisms of protection of the allogeneic fetus from the maternal immune response seem to have a main role through the preimplantation period, they are not yet described in detail. There appears to be an important relation between them and the polymorphism of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins, but it is unknown which of them are expressed in the vaginal canal cells and how they behave during the menstrual cycle.
The aim of this clinical research was to prove the existence of these unusual MHC proteins in vaginal cells, especially during ovulation. We selected women of reproductive age, in different phases of the menstrual cycle and collected vaginal samples. The samples then were processed with immunofluorescence protocol, or ELISA protocol techniques. The protein molecules that were calculated are MHCI, MHCΙI, TCRαβ, TCRγδ. During ovulation MHCΙI and TCRγδ were expressed in higher numbers over MHCΙ and TCRαβ (p=0.0461, p=0.0104), using immunofluorescence. Whereas, using ELISA showed statistical significance only in the expression of TCRγδ over TCRαβ (p=0.0012). Managing to identify the existence of polymorphic molecules of the immune system in the vagina proves the immunological reaction starts taking place in the vagina and there is possibly a relation between the immunosuppression mechanisms surrounding trophoblast implantation and early pregnancy success. As the research progresses it is possible to trace those mechanisms back to subfertility cases.

Key words: subfertility, major histocompatibility complex, vaginal cells






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