Enhanced interleukin-4 expression in patients with endometriosis

Chao Chin Hsu, Bei Chang Yang, Meng Hsing Wu, Ko En Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

110 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the expression of cytokines by T-helper cells type 1 (interleukin [IL]-2 and interferon-γ [IFN-γ]) and type 2 (IL-4 and IL-10) in peripheral blood monocytes and peritoneal fluid (PF) cells from patients with endometriosis. Design: Peripheral blood (PB) monocytes and PF cells from patients with endometriosis were isolated and the expression of cytokines investigated. Setting: Institute for the treatment of endometriosis and research institute in university-based medical center. Patient(s): The study included 7 women with normal pelvic structure, 36 patients with endometriosis, and 7 women with pelvic adhesion but without apparent endometriotic lesion. The existence and severity of endometriosis was determined by laparoscopic examination. Intervention(s): All patients received laparoscopic operation to identify the existence and stages of endometriosis. Danazol (200 mg, twice daily) was prescribed for those with endometriosis. Main Outcome Measure(s): Transcription of cytokines were directly analyzed using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction method. The concentrations of cytokines in peritoneal fluids and sera were analyzed by the ELISA. Result(s): Levels of IL-4 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein in the PB and peritoneal cells of patients with endometriosis were higher than those of normal patients, whereas levels of IFN-γ mRNA and protein were suppressed. There were no significant changes in the mRNA or protein levels of IL-2 or IL-10 in both peritoneal fluids and sera. The level of IL-4 was reduced to normal after combined treatment with laparoscopic surgery and danazol. The secretion of IFN-γ was elevated after treatment. Conclusion(s): Cytokine secretion by T-helper cells type 1 and type 2 is altered in women with endometriosis, suggesting that these T-helper subsets play a role in the immunologic responses to endometriosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1064
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
StatePublished - 06 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • Endometriosis
  • Interleukin-4
  • T-helper cells type 1
  • T-helper cells type 2


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