Depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate is a commonly used injectable contraceptive that has been associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition. This study compares effects of depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate on immune parameters from several upper reproductive tract compartments relevant to HIV-1 susceptibility in repetitive samples from 15 depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate users and 27 women not on hormonal contraceptives. Compared with samples from unexposed women in the mid-luteal phase, depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate use was associated with: increased endocervical concentrations of MCP1 and IFNalpha2; decreased endocervical concentrations of IL1beta and IL6; increased proportions of endometrial CD4+ and CD8+ cells expressing the activation marker HLADR; increased density of endometrial macrophages; and decreased density of endometrial regulatory T cells. Unlike previous reports with samples from the vagina, we did not observe increased expression of the HIV co-receptor CCR5 on CD4+ T cells in the endocervix or endometrium. Our results indicate important differences in anatomic compartments regarding mechanisms by which depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate could be associated with increased risk of HIV acquisition, including increased recruitment of macrophages to the endometrium, decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the endocervix possibly leading to enhanced susceptibility to viral infection, and activation of endometrial T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy