A study titled “Uterine Leukocyte Function and Dysfunction: A Hypothesis on the Impact of Endometriosis” explored the impact of leukocytes in the uterus and their role in endometriosis. The study, published in the journal American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, may help uncover potential new treatments for the disease.
Previous studies have reported alterations in a population of immune cells called leukocytes (white blood cells that help fight off disease) within the ectopic and eutopic tissue of the endometrium. Michigan State University researchers reviewed the difference between two types of immune cells, the uterine natural killer cells (NK cells are the predominant leukocyte population in the normal human endometrium) and regulatory T cells within the eutopic endometrium between patients with endometriosis and healthy controls.
They focused on how differences in these two cell types associate with failure for implantation and in the clearance of the endometrium during the menstrual cycle. Although some studies found that deregulation of uterine NK cells number or function could lead to implantation failure in patients with endometriosis (and suggest that differences in these cells may turn the uterus microenvironment less receptive to embryo implantation), other studies found no differences.