European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology vol:81 issue:2 pages:277-82
OBJECTIVE: Assessment of the appearance, distribution and numerical density of immune cell populations in the normal human uterine cervix. STUDY DESIGN: SETTING: University Hospital Gasthuisberg. SUBJECTS: 29 healthy women undergoing total hysterectomy for non-cervical benign uterine disease. ANALYSIS: Immunohistochemistry and morphometrical analysis on histological sections containing ectocervix, transformation zone and endocervix, using antibodies against the following antigens: HLA-DR, CD4, CD22, CD1a and CD8. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Wilcoxon rank sum test. RESULTS: Lymphocytes in the epithelial and stromal compartments are predominantly T-lymphocytes. Intraepithelial T-lymphocyte and Langerhans' cell densities and their distribution are not influenced by the menstrual cycle and are the same in both ectocervix and transformation zone. CONCLUSION: The wide variation of T lymphocyte subpopulations and Langerhans' cell densities in the normal epithelium of the uterine cervix is stressed. We are the first to present a large and well-defined control series, which is indispensable to study the effect of smoking and other factors on the cervical immune system.