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.


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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