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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evidence for the expression of interleukin (IL)-18, IL-18 receptor and IL-18 binding protein in the human endometrium.

To see whether the interleukin (IL)-18 system is operative in the endometrium, we examined the expression of IL-18, IL-18 receptor (IL-18R) and IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP), the substance known to neutralize IL-18 activity, in this tissue. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses showed that IL-18, IL-18R and IL-18BP mRNA were constitutively expressed without significant fluctuation throughout the menstrual cycle. When epithelial cells and stromal cells were cultured separately, the expression levels of IL-18 mRNA in epithelial cells were about 18-fold higher compared to those in stromal cells. Furthermore, the IL-18 precursor protein was detected by Western blot analysis in cultured epithelial cells but not in stromal cells. Recombinant human IL-18 stimulated the secretion of interferon (IFN)-gamma by resident bone marrow-derived cells in the endometrium. On the other hand, IFN-gamma up-regulated the IL-18BP expression both in cultured epithelial cells and stromal cells. Thus, we have presented evidence for the presence of the IL-18 system in the human endometrium. In light of its immunomodulatory roles in a variety of tissues, this system may afford protection against pathogenic micro-organisms and provide a regulatory mechanism for controlled trophoblast invasion by modulating a local cytokine network.[1]


  1. Evidence for the expression of interleukin (IL)-18, IL-18 receptor and IL-18 binding protein in the human endometrium. Yoshino, O., Osuga, Y., Koga, K., Tsutsumi, O., Yano, T., Fujii, T., Kugu, K., Momoeda, M., Fujiwara, T., Tomita, K., Taketani, Y. Mol. Hum. Reprod. (2001) [Pubmed]
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