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Macrophages are increased in cervical epithelium of women with cervicitis
  1. Manyu Prakash1,
  2. Steven Patterson2,
  3. Moses S Kapembwa1
  1. 1Department of Genito-Urinary/HIV Medicine, ICSTM at Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals, Harrow, Middlesex, UK
  2. 2Department of Immunology, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine (ICSTM) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
  1. M Kapembwa, Department of Genito-Urinary/HIV Medicine, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine at Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3UJ, UK m.kapembwa{at}


Background: Sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) are major causes of morbidity in women. The mechanisms involved in establishment of genital mucosal infection are poorly defined.

Objective: To investigate changes in cervical epithelial (CE) CD45+ cell subpopulations in women with microscopic evidence of cervicitis (n=9) and those without (n=12).

Methods: CE samples were obtained using cytobrush including matched venous blood. CE and peripheral blood (PB) mononuclear cells were analysed by flow cytometry for CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD14+,CD19+, and HLA-DR+ expression.

Results: Women with cervicitis had increased CE macrophages compared with those without (p<0.05). MHC class II+ cells were predominant in all cervical samples. Considerably fewer B lymphocytes were found in cervical samples in both groups of women. No changes were observed in cervical T lymphocyte subsets. However, a relative CD8+ lymphocytosis in PB was noted in women with cervicitis.

Conclusion: The increased numbers of CE macrophages in women with cervicitis may have important implications for pathogenesis of STIs including human immunodeficiency virus infection.

  • cervicitis
  • macrophages
  • flow cytometry

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  • Conflict of interest: None.