Major histocompatibility complex(mhc) molecules identification in vaginal cells during menstrual cycle


Socrates Megoulas, Savvidi Amalia, Stelios Fiorentzis and Mihail Tziolas

Abstract: Causes of subfertility in women are under investigation, with the vaginal canal being the first barrier before the fertilization and implantation process. Although the mechanisms of protection of the allogeneic fetus from the maternal immune response seem to have a main role through the preimplantation period, they are not yet described in detail. There appears to be an important relation between them and the polymorphism of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins. However, it is unknown which are expressed in the vaginal canal cells and how they behave during the menstrual cycle. This clinical research aimed to prove the existence of these unusual MHC proteins in vaginal cells, especially during ovulation. We selected women of reproductive age in different menstrual cycle phases and collected vaginal samples. The samples then were processed with immunofluorescence protocol or ELISA protocol techniques. The protein molecules that were calculated are MHCI, MHCII, TCRa b, TCRg d. During ovulation, MHCII and TCRg d were expressed in higher numbers over MHCI and TCRa b (p=0.0461, p=0.0104), using immunofluorescence. Whereas using ELISA showed statistical significance only in the expression of TCRg d over TCRa b (p=0.0012). Managing to identify the existence of polymorphic molecules of the immune system in the vagina proves the immunological reaction starts taking place in the vagina, and there is possibly a relation between the immunosuppression mechanisms surrounding trophoblast implantation and early pregnancy success. As the research progresses, it is possible to trace those mechanisms back to subfertility cases.

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