The disturbance of TH17 Treg cell balance in adenomyosis

The disturbance of TH17-Treg cell balance was involved in the immunopathogenesis of both diffuse and focal forms of adenomyosis and showed positive correlation with dysmenorrhea severity and CA-125 levels.

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Tao Gui, M.D., Chen Chen, M.D., Zhenzhen Zhang, M.D., Weiwei Tang, M.D., Ruyun Qian, M.D., Xiaoping Ma, M.D., Peng Cao, Ph.D., Guiping Wan, Ph.D.

Volume 101, Issue 2, Pages 506-514, February 2014



To investigate the balance between regulatory T cells (Treg) and T-helper 17 cells (TH17) in peripheral blood and uteri of women with adenomyosis (AM), and to evaluate their potential correlation with dysmenorrhea and CA-125 levels.


Laboratory study using human peripheral blood and tissues.


Academic hospital.


Forty-five patients with AM (study group) and 25 women without AM (control group).


The peripheral blood and tissues harvested from all groups were subjected to flow cytometry, ELISA, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry. The severity of dysmenorrhea was distinguished by visual analog scale (VAS).

Main Outcome Measure(s):

TH17 and Treg cell frequency, mRNA and protein levels of transcription factors and cytokines in all groups, and their correlation between the TH17-Treg ratio and dysmenorrhea severity or CA-125 level.


The disturbance of TH17-Treg balance was demonstrated in peripheral circulation and uteri of patients with both diffuse and focal AM, and it correlated positively with dysmenorrhea severity and CA-125.


The findings suggest that TH17-Treg imbalance may play a crucial role in the immunopathogenesis of AM, and may be thus a potential target of AM therapy.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.