Effects of Stress on the Rate of Wound Closure Within the Female Reproductive Tract

Wound healing of the skin is a well-known process, however wound healing within mucosal environments lacks understanding. Further adding to this unknown process is the effects of stress hormones on this process. Using human endocervical and ectocervical cells, innate immune cells, and stress-related hormones, wound healing in the mucosal tissue was investigated. Significantly, it was found that cortisol has detrimental effects upon wound healing macrophages while it is able to increase the healing properties of inflammatory macrophages. In addition to this significant finding, anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone was found to increase the wound healing rates of all macrophage types. Furthermore, we observed difference in wound healing rates amongst THP-1 and primary monocytic cell lines. Our findings are able to suggest that the presence of cortisol, hydrocortisone, macrophage type and cell line all further impact the rate of wound closure within mucosal tissue.