In the female reproductive tract, the complement system represents a defense mechanism that can act directly against pathogens and cells, and mediates inflammatory response. Endometrial cells are protected from autologous complement attack by membrane-bound complement regulatory proteins (CRPs) that prevent complement activation: membrane cofactor protein (CD46), decay accelerating factor (CD55), and protectin (CD59). In this work we show that all CRPs were overexpressed after LPS exposure. Maximal stimulatory effect was detected after 6h, and was declining after 12h, reaching control levels in 24h. CD59 was the protein showing the more prominent effect. There seems to be a slight increase of CRP expression in the endometrium of sterile patients that have anti-endometrial antibodies (AEA) in their serum. Our results suggest that under stress, the high expression of CRPs (CD46, CD55, and CD59) could protect endometrial injured cells against complement mediated lysis. The survival of these cells with some biochemical modifications would enable autoimmune response. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
- Anti-endometrial antibodies
- Cellular stress
- Complement regulatory proteins
- Endometrial cells