The effect of progesterone on the accumulation of leukocytes in the human endometrium

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Jul;171(1):139-42. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(94)90459-6.


Objective: Our purpose was to determine the role of progesterone on the number and type of leukocytes found in human endometrium.

Study design: Endometrial tissue was obtained from normally cycling women and from women receiving hormone replacement therapy for premature ovarian failure. All tissues were formalin fixed, sectioned, and stained with specific antibodies to leukocytes, T cells, B cells, and macrophages. Each tissue was also dated by means of published techniques. Quantitation was performed by counting all immunopositive cells in five high-powered fields. Data were compared by analysis of variance and Mann-Whitney U test.

Results: Leukocytes increased from 31.1 to 99.1 per high-powered field (p = 0.0001), and T cells increased from 10.9 to 20.4 per high-powered field (p = 0.001) after 12 days of progesterone treatment of women with ovarian failure. Normally menstruating women in the late luteal phase had similar concentrations. Neither B cells nor macrophages were found to increase with progesterone treatment.

Conclusions: These data indicate that progesterone results in an increased leukocyte and T-cell concentration in human endometrium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endometrium / drug effects
  • Endometrium / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count / drug effects
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / drug therapy
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / immunology*
  • Progesterone / pharmacology*
  • Progesterone / therapeutic use
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects*


  • Progesterone