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Decidual factors and vasoactive intestinal peptide guide monocytes to higher migration, efferocytosis and wound healing in term human pregnancy

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Acta Physiologica

Published online on


["\nAbstract\n\nAim\nTo explore the functional profile of circulating monocytes and decidual macrophages at term human pregnancy and their contribution to tissue repair upon stimulation ex vivo with decidual factors and the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP).\n\n\nMethods\nPeripheral blood monocytes were isolated from pregnant and non‐pregnant volunteers and tested in vitro with decidual explants from term placenta and VIP. The effect of VIP on decidual explants and the effect of its conditioned media on monocytes or decidual macrophages isolated by magnetic beads was carried out by RT‐qPCR and ELISA for cytokines expression and release. Migration assays were performed in transwell systems. Efferocytosis was assessed in monocytes or decidual macrophages with CFSE‐labelled autologous apoptotic neutrophils and quantified by flow cytometry. Monocyte and decidual macrophages wound healing capacity was evaluated using human endometrial stromal cell monolayers. Immunohistochemistry was performed in serial tissue sections of different placentas.\n\n\nResults\nVIP is expressed in the villi as well as in trophoblast giant cells distributed within the decidua of term placenta. VIP induced the expression of antiinflmammatory markers and monocyte chemoattractant CCL2 and CCL3 in decidual tissues. Monocytes presented higher migration towards decidual explants than CD4 and CD8 cells. VIP‐conditioned monocytes displayed an enhanced efferocytosis and wound healing capacity comparable to that of decidual macrophages. Moreover, limited efferocytosis of pregnant women monocytes was restored by VIP‐induced decidual factors.\n\n\nConclusion\nResults show the conditioning of monocytes by decidual factors and VIP to sustain processes required for tissue repair and homeostasis maintenance in term placenta.\n\n", "Acta Physiologica, Accepted Article. "]