Cell type-specific expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors in the human vaginal mucosa

Chao Gu, Dorothee Duluc, Matthew Wiest, Yaming Xue, Johnny Yi, Jean Pierre Gorvel, Hye Mee Joo, Sang Kon Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Female sex hormones affect the immune response in the lower female genital tract. To understand their mechanisms of action, it is essential to define cell types expressing estrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR) in the human vaginal mucosa (VM). Here, we report that none of the dendritic cell (DC) subsets in the human VM expressed ERα or PR in situ. However, they were capable of expressing ERα, but not PR, after in vitro culture of the whole VM tissues. Similarly, ERα and/or PR expression by T cells in the VM tissues was also inducible rather than constitutive. In contrast, ERα and/or PR were constitutively expressed in HLA-DR non-immune cell types (vimentin+, desmin+, or CD10+). These new findings will help us understand the mechanisms of action of female sex hormones in the modulation of immune response in the human VM and lower female genital tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108874
JournalClinical Immunology
Volume232
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Dendritic cell
  • Estrogen
  • Hormone receptor
  • Progesterone
  • T cell
  • Vaginal mucosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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