Immune-endocrine crosstalk during pregnancy

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2017 Feb 1;242:18-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.03.003. Epub 2016 Mar 7.


The success of pregnancy depends mostly on a synchronized immune-endocrine crosstalk at the maternal-fetal interface. Hormones are important in terms of maintaining the suitable environment and sufficient nutrition for the developing fetus. They also play a major role during the process of parturition and lactation. Maternal immunomodulation is important for the tolerance of semiallogeneic fetus. This is achieved in concert with a variety of endocrine stimulation. Estrogen, progesterone, and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin play a major role in immune modulation during pregnancy. Hormones modulate B cells, dendritic cells, uterine natural killer cells, macrophages, neutrophils to adopt fetal friendly immune phenotypes. Recently the use of hormones in assisted reproductive technology has been found to improve the pregnancy outcome. The present review focuses on the pregnancy-related hormones, their role in immunomodulation for successful pregnancy outcome. This also shed light on the immune-endocrine crosstalk at maternal-fetal interface during pregnancy.

Keywords: Immune-endocrine crosstalk; Immunomodulation; Maternal–fetal interface; Semiallogeneic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Estrogens / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fetus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Progesterone / physiology*
  • Uterus / cytology
  • Uterus / immunology
  • Uterus / physiology*


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Estrogens
  • Progesterone