PROBLEM: To investigate the expression of integrin (ITG) cell adhesion mole
cules on peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) and their correlation with endo
metrial cell ITG expression in fertile and infertile women during peak uter
ine receptive period (day 19/20).
METHOD OF STUDY: Surface marker expression and quantification of alpha6, al
pha4 and beta3 ITG subunits was done by immunohistochemistry, indirect immu
nofluroscence and cell-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods using endo
metrial cells and PBL obtained from fertile and infertile (unexplained infe
RESULTS: The expression of ITGs was significantly (P <0.001) decreased in t
he endometrial cells of infertile women compared to normal fertile women. T
hese results correlated well with the data obtained using PBL-ITG expressio
CONCLUSIONS: If these preliminary data are consistent in a larger group of
patients, the expression of alpha4 and beta3-ITG subunits on PBL may be use
d as clinical markers to assess endometrial receptivity in infertile women.
Moreover, frequent blood sampling is advantageous over repeated endometria
l biopsies as the former approach is easier, non-traumatic and avoids intra