BACKGROUND: Estrogens are known to orchestrate reproductive events and to regulate the immune system during infections and following tissue damage. Recent findings suggest that, in the absence of any danger signal, estrogens trigger the physiological expansion and functional specialization of macrophages, which are immune cells that populate the female reproductive tract (FRT) and are increasingly being recognized to participate in tissue homeostasis beyond their immune activity against infections. Although estrogens are the only female gonadal hormones that directly target macrophages, a comprehensive view of this endocrine-immune communication and its involvement in the FRT is still missing. OBJECTIVE AND RATIONALE: Recent accomplishments encourage a revision of the literature on the ability of macrophages to respond to estrogens and induce tissue-specific functions required for reproductive events, with the aim to envision macrophages as key players in FRT homeostasis and mediators of the regenerative and trophic actions of estrogens. SEARCH METHODS: We conducted a systematic search using PubMed and Ovid for human, animal (rodents) and cellular studies published until 2018 on estrogen action in macrophages and the activity of these cells in the FRT. OUTCOMES: Our search identified the remarkable ability of macrophages to activate biochemical processes in response to estrogens in cell culture experiments. The distribution at specific locations, interaction with selected cells and acquisition of distinct phenotypes of macrophages in the FRT, as well as the cyclic renewal of these properties at each ovarian cycle, demonstrate the involvement of these cells in the homeostasis of reproductive events. Moreover, current evidence suggests an association between estrogen-macrophage signaling and the generation of a tolerant and regenerative environment in the FRT, although a causative link is still missing. WIDER IMPLICATIONS: Dysregulation of the functions and estrogen responsiveness of FRT macrophages may be involved in infertility and estrogen- and macrophage-dependent gynecological diseases, such as ovarian cancer and endometriosis. Thus, more research is needed on the physiology and pharmacological control of this endocrine-immune interplay.
The estrogen–macrophage interplay in the homeostasis of the female reproductive tract / G.L. Pepe, M. Locati, S. DELLA TORRE, F. Mornata, A. Cignarella, A.C. Maggi, E. Vegeto. - In: HUMAN REPRODUCTION UPDATE. - ISSN 1355-4786. - 24:6(2018 Nov), pp. 652-672.
|Titolo:||The estrogen–macrophage interplay in the homeostasis of the female reproductive tract|
PEPE, GIOVANNA LUISA (Primo)
LOCATI, MASSIMO (Secondo)
MAGGI, ADRIANA CATERINA (Penultimo)
VEGETO, ELISABETTA (Ultimo) (Corresponding)
|Parole Chiave:||Estrogens; macrophages; female reproductive tract; inflammation; ovarian cancer; endometriosis|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||nov-2018|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmy026|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|