The effect of dexamethasone on mucosal immunity of uterine tissue during pregnancy in rat

Document Type : Original Articles


Department of physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt


Disturbances in early pregnancy immunity affect embryo development, endometrial receptivity, placental development, fetal growth and lead to subfertility, dexamethasone is a synthetic glucocorticoid used for treatment of various complications. Immune cells and cytokines were examined during the early pregnancy in twenty-four female rats and six male rats for mating. Rats were grouped into two group control and dexamethasone treated by a dose of 50µgm/kgm body weight daily starting from one week before mating and persisted for one week after pregnancy. Blood samples were collected from each rat at 5hrs and at 1,3,7 day of pregnancy. Extracted RNA was subjected to real time PCR to determine mRNA levels for immune related genes interleukin1a(IL1A) and interleukin 10(IL10). Histopathological examination was done to uterus in order to detect leukocyte infiltration in uterine tissue. Results showed that significant increase in white blood cell count mainly eosinophil at 5hrs and lymphocyte at three and seven day of pregnancy of dexamethasone treated group. Moreover, TNF, C-reactive protein and progesterone were increased mainly at seven day of pregnancy of dexamethasone treated group. Similarly, interleukin 1alpha and interleukin 10 significantly increased at 5hrs and one day of pregnancy of dexamethasone treated group. In contrast, serum levels of total antioxidant capacity and estrogen were decreased significantly at 5hrs and seven day in dexamethasone treated group. Histopathological examination of uterus revealed leukocytic infiltration especially neutrophil and few eosinophils at five hours and one day of gestation then eosinophil become absent at 3day and seven day of dexamethasone group. Epithelial height and uterine gland diameter significantly increased at 5hrs, three day and seven days of gestation of dexamethasone treated group. The present investigation demonstrated that using of dexamethasone by dose of 50µgm/kgm during early pregnancy had a conflicting impact on some immune cytokines and parameters and may reflect a harmful response of immune system toward early period of pregnancy.


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