Phenotype and Functionality of CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells in the Upper Reproductive Tract of Healthy Premenopausal Women

Uma Shanmugasundaram, J. William Critchfield, Jane Pannell, Jean Perry, Linda C. Giudice, Karen Smith-Mccune, Ruth M. Greenblatt, Barbara Shacklett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Problem: The goal of this study was to investigate the phenotype and functional responsiveness of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in the upper reproductive tract of healthy premenopausal women. The lower reproductive tract is frequently studied as a site of sexually transmitted infections; however, the upper reproductive tract may also be a portal of entry and dissemination for pathogens, including HIV-1. Method of Study: Endometrial biopsy, endocervical curettage, cytobrush, and blood were collected during mid-luteal phase from 23 healthy women. T-cells were isolated and analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: As compared with their counterparts in blood, endometrial and endocervical T-cells had enhanced CCR5 expression, and were enriched for activated, effector memory cells. Endometrial T-cells were more responsive to polyclonal stimuli, producing a broad range of cytokines and chemokines. Conclusion: These findings underscore the responsiveness of endometrial T-cells to stimulation, and reveal their activated phenotype. These findings also suggest susceptibility of the upper reproductive tract to HIV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • CTL
  • Endocervix
  • Endometrium
  • HIV
  • STD
  • T-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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