Altered Expression of Interleukin-18 System mRNA at the Level of Endometrial Myometrial Interface in Women with Adenomyosis

Liang Hsuan Chen, She Hung Chan, Chin Jung Li, Hsien Ming Wu, Hong Yuan Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adenomyosis is a uterine pathology characterized by a deep invasion of endometrial glands and stroma, disrupting the endometrial–myometrial interface (EMI). Interleukin-18 (IL-18) system is a dominant cytokine involved in the menstrual cycle of human endometrium. IL-18 may play a defensive role against maternal immune response in the uterine cavity. The present study was designed to determine IL-18-mediated immune response at the level of EMI. We uncovered that mRNA of IL-18 system, including IL-18, IL-18 receptor (IL-18R), and its antagonist, IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP), expressed in eutopic, ectopic endometrium, and corresponding myometrium in patients with adenomyosis. IL-18 system was demonstrated in paired tissue samples by immunochemistry and immunofluorescence study. According to RT-PCR with CT value quantification and 2−∆∆Ct method, a significant down-regulation of IL-18BP in corresponding myometrium in comparison to eutopic endometrium (p < 0.05) indicates that the IL-18 system acts as a local immune modulator at the level of EMI and regulating cytokine networks in the pathogenesis of adenomyosis. Furthermore, an increased IL-18 antagonist to agonist ratio was noted in ectopic endometrium compared with corresponding myometrium. We suggest that altered IL-18 system expression contributes to immunological dysfunction and junctional zone disturbance in women with adenomyosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5550-5561
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Issues in Molecular Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 11 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • PCR
  • adenomyosis
  • cytokine
  • endometrium
  • interleukin-18


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