Curious experiment was conducted by Australian scientists from the University of Adelaide. The experiment was conducted in transgenic mice, which had no macrophages - immune cells.
Fertilization of these mice was inconclusive; progesterone level (hormone that is secreted by the corpus luteum of the ovaries, and prepares the uterine tissue for implantation of a fertilized egg) was increased.
"The corpus luteum (yellow body of ovary - temporary endocrine gland in the female body, which is formed after ovulation - C.L.), which produces progesterone, was bleeding, and therefore the hormone balance was disturbed", - said the head of the study Sarah Robertson about the causes of this phenomenon. After the administration of progesterone in mice, embryo implantation was proceeding normally.
So far there seems to be nothing going beyond our knowledge of the role of hormones in reproductive function. However, scientists have discovered subtypes of macrophages - M2, playing a role in the structure of the network of blood vessels in the corpus luteum, which allowed this area to increase in size and produce progesterone required for pregnancy. When mice were injected with these macrophages, corpus luteum started to function normally, secreting the necessary hormones in the proper quantity, and mice also gained the ability to have offspring.
In my opinion, the experiment turned out very interesting and promising. After considering the study results, it will turn out that, in fact, when introducing progesterone in the treatment of infertility, in some cases we are not dealing with the cause of the disease, which lies in the lack of immune cells of a certain type, but with its consequences - hormone deficiency.
Of course, there is a huge distance from the experiments on mice to the development of techniques capable to make corpus luteum of the human body function normally. However, the prospects are quite impressive: to transfer from the hormonal therapy to the techniques of immunity improvement (by the way, sometimes it is enough just to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet), and from the treatment of consequences to the treatment of the cause.