Structural and functional comparison of mast cells in the pregnant versus nonpregnant human uterus

Robert E. Garfield, Anne Marie Irani, Lawrence B. Schwartz, Egle Bytautiene, Roberto Romero

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    40 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To characterize uterine mast cells and investigate uterine muscle strips contractile responses to challenge with an allergen in nonpregnant and pregnant women. Study design: A double-antibody labeling technique was used to identify tryptase positive or chymase-tryptase-positive mast cells in uterine samples from term pregnant and nonpregnant women. Longitudinal myometrial strips were prepared from biopsies of hysterectomy specimens from patients undergoing procedures for benign indications and women who had elective cesarean sections. Responses to ragweed antigen were compared in uterine tissues from allergic and nonallergic patients and with passively sensitized tissues in the absence or presence of H1 receptor antagonist and a cyclooxygenase inhibitor. Results: Tryptase-chymase-positive mast cells were predominant in nonpregnant myometrium, whereas tryptase-positive cells were dominant in pregnant myometrium. Mast cell density was significantly higher in tissue from pregnant women than those of nonpregnant women. Studies in tissues from patients with known allergy to ragweed, as well as in passively sensitized tissues, showed an immediate and substantial increase in the frequency and force of myometrial contraction after a challenge with ragweed antigen. A similar response was observed to histamine. There was no contractile response to antigen challenge in tissues from nonallergic patients. An H1 receptor antagonist partially inhibited the response to antigen, whereas a cyclooxygenase inhibitor had no effect. Conclusion: Sensitized isolated pregnant and nonpregnant human uterine tissue is capable of responding to antigen challenge with strong myometrial contractions. This ability, along with the increased density of mast cells in pregnant tissues as compared with nonpregnant tissues, indicates a possible role for mast cells in mediating uterine contractility in pregnancy.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)261-267
    Number of pages7
    JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Volume194
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2006

    Fingerprint

    Mast Cells
    Uterus
    Tryptases
    Ambrosia
    Myometrium
    Antigens
    Chymases
    Pregnant Women
    Histamine H1 Receptors
    Uterine Contraction
    Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
    Hysterectomy
    Cesarean Section
    Allergens
    Histamine
    Hypersensitivity
    Cell Count
    Biopsy
    Pregnancy
    Antibodies

    Keywords

    • Allergy
    • Mast cells
    • Myometrium
    • Pregnancy
    • Ragweed
    • Uterine contractility

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Cite this

    Structural and functional comparison of mast cells in the pregnant versus nonpregnant human uterus. / Garfield, Robert E.; Irani, Anne Marie; Schwartz, Lawrence B.; Bytautiene, Egle; Romero, Roberto.

    In: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 194, No. 1, 01.2006, p. 261-267.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Garfield, Robert E. ; Irani, Anne Marie ; Schwartz, Lawrence B. ; Bytautiene, Egle ; Romero, Roberto. / Structural and functional comparison of mast cells in the pregnant versus nonpregnant human uterus. In: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2006 ; Vol. 194, No. 1. pp. 261-267.
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    abstract = "Objective: To characterize uterine mast cells and investigate uterine muscle strips contractile responses to challenge with an allergen in nonpregnant and pregnant women. Study design: A double-antibody labeling technique was used to identify tryptase positive or chymase-tryptase-positive mast cells in uterine samples from term pregnant and nonpregnant women. Longitudinal myometrial strips were prepared from biopsies of hysterectomy specimens from patients undergoing procedures for benign indications and women who had elective cesarean sections. Responses to ragweed antigen were compared in uterine tissues from allergic and nonallergic patients and with passively sensitized tissues in the absence or presence of H1 receptor antagonist and a cyclooxygenase inhibitor. Results: Tryptase-chymase-positive mast cells were predominant in nonpregnant myometrium, whereas tryptase-positive cells were dominant in pregnant myometrium. Mast cell density was significantly higher in tissue from pregnant women than those of nonpregnant women. Studies in tissues from patients with known allergy to ragweed, as well as in passively sensitized tissues, showed an immediate and substantial increase in the frequency and force of myometrial contraction after a challenge with ragweed antigen. A similar response was observed to histamine. There was no contractile response to antigen challenge in tissues from nonallergic patients. An H1 receptor antagonist partially inhibited the response to antigen, whereas a cyclooxygenase inhibitor had no effect. Conclusion: Sensitized isolated pregnant and nonpregnant human uterine tissue is capable of responding to antigen challenge with strong myometrial contractions. This ability, along with the increased density of mast cells in pregnant tissues as compared with nonpregnant tissues, indicates a possible role for mast cells in mediating uterine contractility in pregnancy.",
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