During ovulation, immune responses are suppressed, a process related to an ‘immune tolerance’ to the allogeneic sperm. This allows semen to survive during ovulation and to increase the chance of fertilization.
A new study shows that estradiol is able to suppress the NF-κb translocation to the nucleus, a step crucial for the dendritic cells (DCs) maturation process, explaining the reduced DCs’ function observed during ovulation. This hormonal adaptive mechanism may bring together the female immune response with reproductive function.
Cover Image: Reference ranges for the blood content of estradiol during the menstrual cycle. Author: Mikael Häggström. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.