The pregnancy hormone hCG is secreted by trophoblasts in the placenta and peaks in the first trimester of pregnancy. hCG is a member of the pituitary glycoprotein family, and is consists of an α-subunit and a β-subunit. The primary function of hCG is to induce the production of progesterone and estrogen by the corpus luteum during early pregnancy. Data are accumulating on a role for hCG in immune regulation. For instance treatment with hCG has been shown to be beneficial in animal models for type I diabetes, Sjögren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. Mononuclear phagocytic cells are derived from progenitor cells in the bone marrow. As initiators of the immune response, these cells are important in both innate and adaptive immunity. Monocytes, macrophages (Mϕ), and dendritic cells (DC) are all belong to mononuclear phagocytic cells which reside in the peripheral blood or tissues and exert with different functions. Mononuclear phagocytic cells bear the hCG receptor, and hCG has been shown to influence several properties of these cells. The scope of this thesis is the immunoregulatory effect of hCG on mononuclear phagocytic cells. This aim was approached by investigating the effect of hCG treatment on the function of monocytes, Mϕ, and DC in respect to their innate or adaptive function in the immune response. Moreover, the possible mechanisms underlying the regulation by hCG were studied.

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Benner, Prof. Dr. R. (promotor), Biotempt B.V., Koekange, The Netherlands
R. Benner (Robbert)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wan, H. (2008, April 16). Immunoregulation of mononuclear phagocytic cells by human chorionic gonadotropin. Retrieved from