Taken together, the present results indicate that PBMCs from RSA patients show a decreased expression of VIP after interaction with trophoblast cells that might be related to an imbalance of Th1/Treg immune responses observed in these patients. To confirm the contribution of endogenous VIP to the interaction between trophoblast cells and maternal leucocytes,
we performed co-cultures in the presence of the specific VIP antagonist. As shown in Fig. 5a, the frequency of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ cells from fertile PBMCs decreased significantly in the presence Opaganib supplier of the VIP antagonist, similar to that observed in RSA PBMCs after co-culture with trophoblast cells. Moreover, IL-10 secretion quantified by ELISA in the co-cultures performed with fertile PBMCs was also reduced significantly in the presence of VIP antagonist (Fig. 5b); however, these levels were not as low as those observed in the cultures with RSA PBMCs, suggesting that other mechanisms might be affected in RSA patients. Finally, we investigated VIP production in CD4+ lymphocytes infiltrated in endometrial samples from RSA and fertile women. We obtained endometrial biopsies during the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle from RSA and fertile women, and the cells recovered after mechanical disruption of biopsies were analysed by flow cytometry for intracellular VIP detection into CD4+ cells. As shown in Fig. 6a, there was a significantly
lower frequency of LY2109761 research buy infiltrated CD4+VIP+ cells in endometrium of RSA patients in comparison with fertile women (9·6 ± 3·8% versus 29 ± 4·5%, respectively). Figure 6b shows representative histograms of endometrial samples from a fertile woman and an RSA patient with
the percentages of VIP producer cells inside the CD4+ gated cells. These results support the idea that a lower frequency of VIP-producing endometrial T cells might precondition RSA patients to an imbalance of the immune response. Several reports have proposed that pregnancy evolves through different immunological Liothyronine Sodium stages with a predominantly pro- or anti-inflammatory profile depending on the stage of gestation analysed [34, 35]. While the appropriate generation of a proinflammatory response is a prerequisite for successful implantation [1, 2], and immune cells are critical for decidual and trophoblast development in an early inflammatory environment, a switch to an anti-inflammatory and tolerogenic profile is needed later until delivery where, again, a proinflammatory response is predominant. Multiple regulatory mechanisms and check-points are required to balance such a variety of immune mediators and for the fine tuning of the local immune–trophoblast interaction throughout gestation . The results presented herein provide experimental evidence that the neuropeptide VIP contributes to the induction of a physiological maternal tolerogenic microenvironment.