Evidence for a dynamic role for mononuclear phagocytes during endometrial repair and remodelling

Fiona L. Cousins, Phoebe M. Kirkwood, Philippa T K Saunders, Douglas A. Gibson

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19 Citations (Scopus)


In women, endometrial breakdown, which is experienced as menstruation, is characterised by high concentrations of inflammatory mediators and immune cells which account for ∼40% of the stromal compartment during tissue shedding. These inflammatory cells are known to play a pivotal role in tissue breakdown but their contribution to the rapid scarless repair of endometrium remains poorly understood. In the current study we used a mouse model of menstruation to investigate dynamic changes in mononuclear phagocytes during endometrial repair and remodelling. Menstruation was simulated in MacGreen mice to allow visualisation of CSF1R+ mononuclear phagocytes. Immunohistochemistry revealed dynamic spatio-temporal changes in numbers and location of CSF1R-EGFP+ cells and Ly6G+ neutrophils. Flow cytometry confirmed a striking increase in numbers of GFP+ cells during repair (24 h): influxed cells were 66% F4/80+ Gr-1+ and 30% F4/80- Gr-1+. Immunostaining identified distinct populations of putative 'classical' monocytes (GFP+ F4/80-), monocyte-derived macrophages (GFP+ F4/80+) and a stable population of putative tissue-resident macrophages (GFP - F4/80+) localised to areas of breakdown, repair and remodelling respectively. Collectively, these data provide the first compelling evidence to support a role for different populations of monocytes/macrophages in endometrial repair and provide the platform for future studies on the role of these cells in scarless healing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36748
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

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