Higher interleukin-18 and mannose-binding lectin are present in uterine lumen of patients with unexplained infertility

P. Oger, R. Bulla, F. Tedesco, A. Portier, S. Dubanchet, M. Bailly, R. Wainer, G. Chaouat, Nathalie Lédée

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The uterine luminal environment was explored with regard to interleukin-18 (IL-18) and mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and the possibility that the procedure of flushing the uterine cavity would optimize the physiological initial pseudo-inflammatory uterine reaction. Uterine flushings were performed among 175 IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) patients at the time of oocyte retrieval and the cycles were compared with a control group matched for age, number of previous attempts and type of assisted reproductive procedure (IVF or ICSI) in which no flushing were performed (n = 175). Samples collected were divided into two groups according to the presence/absence of endometrial cells in samples. IL-18 and MBL expressions were explored by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Implantation rates were significantly higher in those patients who underwent the uterine flushing compared with controls (P = 0.04). Luminal concentrations of IL-18 and MBL were higher if endometrial cells were present in flushings, suggesting endometrial origin of the secretion. Both concentrations of MBL and IL-18 were higher in patients with unexplained infertility compared with patients involved in IVF/ICSI for male or tubal infertility (P = 0.005 and 0.02, respectively). The exploration of the endoluminal environment before oocyte retrieval may enhance pregnancy rates and show distinct features in patients with unexplained infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-598
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Embryo transfer
  • Endoluminal uterine fluid
  • Interleukin-18
  • IVF
  • Mannose-binding lectin
  • Uterine flushing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology


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