The immune cell profile of human fallopian tubes in health and benign pathology: a systematic review

Rigby, Charlotte H, Aljassim, Fatima, Powell, Simon G ORCID: 0000-0002-5553-5286, Wyatt, James NR, Hill, Christopher J ORCID: 0000-0003-3831-4569 and Hapangama, Dharani K ORCID: 0000-0003-0270-0150
(2022) The immune cell profile of human fallopian tubes in health and benign pathology: a systematic review. JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY, 152. 103646-.

[thumbnail of Rigby et al 2022.pdf] Text
Rigby et al 2022.pdf - Published version

Download (2MB) | Preview


The fallopian tubes (FT) play a key role in fertility by facilitating the movement of gametes to promote fertilisation and, subsequently, passage of the zygote for implantation. Histologically, the FT mucosa consists of three main cell types: secretory, ciliated and peg cells. In addition, several studies have reported the presence of immune cells. This systematic review aims to present a comprehensive analysis of the immune cell populations in the human FT, both in health and benign pathology, to promote a better understanding of tubal pathologies and their influence on infertility. A comprehensive literature search was conducted across five databases and augmented with manual citation chaining. Forty-two eligible studies were selected in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Following screening, risk of bias assessments were conducted, data extracted and the findings presented thematically. T lymphocytes, predominantly CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells, represent the most abundant immune cell population within the healthy FT, with B lymphocytes, macrophages, NK cells and dendritic cells also localised to the tubal mucosa. There is evidence to suggest that lymphocyte and macrophage populations are susceptible to changes in the concentration of reproductive hormones. Tubal ectopic pregnancy, salpingitis, hydrosalpinx and endometriosis are all characterised by an increased population of macrophages in comparison to healthy FT. However, given the inconsistent evidence presented between studies, and the lack of studies examining all immune cell subtypes in tubal pathologies, only limited conclusions can be formulated on pathology-specific immune cell populations, and further research is required for validation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immune cells, Fallopian tube, Ectopic pregnancy, Hydrosalpinx, Systematic review
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2022 14:33
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 20:56
DOI: 10.1016/j.jri.2022.103646
Related URLs: