Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 4675–4684 | Cite as

Immunological microenvironment alterations in follicles of women with proven severe endometriosis undergoing in vitro fertilization

  • Xiao-Dan MaoEmail author
  • Chen-Yu Hu
  • Meng-Chu Zhu
  • Hui-Lin Ou
  • Yu-Li Qian
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that different cytokine profiles may exist in the follicular fluid of endometriosis (EM) patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), as these differences may provide insights into the pathogenesis of the disease. This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the reproductive center of a medical university hospital. The study included 49 patients receiving IVF. 20 infertile women with proven EM and 29 women without diagnosed EM (control group) were evaluated. Follicular fluid (FF) and serum were collected at the time of follicle aspiration and the concentrations of 38 cytokines were determined by multiplexed immunoassay. The results indicated that the levels of IL-4, IL-13, IL-3 and IL-1α were significantly increased in the FF of women with EM, while levels of IFN-γ, IL-17A, MDC and MIP-1α were decreased compared with in the control subjects. In conclusions, the immune microenvironment of the FF in patients with EM is altered. This may contribute to the pathologic mechanism responsible for the poor outcome of IVF in patients with EM.


Follicular fluid Endometriosis Cytokine IVF 


Author contributions

XD Mao, CY Hu, MC Zhu and HL Ou performed immunological detection. XD Mao and HL Ou performed the statistical analysis. YL Qian and XD Mao conceived and directed the project. All authors participated in writing the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

11033_2019_4753_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (474 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (JPG 475 KB)
11033_2019_4753_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 14 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Women’s Hospital, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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