Cytokine patterns differ seasonally between women with and without uterine leiomyomata

Am J Reprod Immunol. 2013 Oct;70(4):327-35. doi: 10.1111/aji.12127. Epub 2013 Apr 25.


Problem: Uterine leiomyomata are the most common reproductive tumor in women, and their cause is not known.

Methods of study: Plasma samples from 155 women (74 with and 81 without ultrasound-confirmed leiomyoma) from a new study of leiomyoma risk factors in the Detroit, Michigan area, were examined for any cross-sectional associations between commonly examined cytokines and leiomyoma presence.

Results: Associations varied by season of sample collection defined a priori as winter (December-February) and non-winter seasons. In the winter months, interleukin (IL)13 and IL17 were positively and IP10 was inversely associated with having a leiomyoma. In the non-winter samples, VEGF, G-CSF, and IP10 were positively associated and Monocyte chemotactic protein-1, IL13, and IL17 were inversely associated with having a leiomyoma. Associations were not changed by adjustment for age or BMI.

Conclusions: These data suggest that new insight into leiomyoma formation may be acquired through investigation of the immune system.

Keywords: chemokines; cytokines; growth factors; inflammation; leiomyoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Black or African American
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / diagnosis*
  • Leiomyoma / immunology*
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Michigan
  • Seasons
  • Ultrasonography
  • Uterine Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Uterus / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • Cytokines