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Reprod Sci. 2009 Sep;16(9):843-56. doi: 10.1177/1933719109336621. Epub 2009 Jun 29.

The role of toll-like receptors (TLR-2 and -4) and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM-1) in human term and preterm labor.

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  • 1Ninewells Hospital and School of Medicine, Dundee, United Kingdom.



To define the role of Toll-like receptors (TLR-2, TLR-4) and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1) in pregnant human myometrium.


Expression of TLR-2 and -4 mRNA and protein and TREM-1 mRNA was quantified in human myometrial samples. Subsequently, we investigated the effect of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) as a functional inhibitor of the TLR agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS).


Messenger RNA expression of TLR-2 and -4 was significantly higher in myometrium at term compared with preterm (P = .009 and .016, respectively). Toll-like receptor-2 protein expression was significantly higher during labor (P = .002) compared with nonlaboring samples. Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 mRNA expression was increased in both myometrium and cervix after labor at term (P < .05). Medroxyprogesterone acetate significantly suppressed LPS-induced production of interleukin 1b (IL-1b), IL-6, and IL-8 in vitro (P < .05).


Toll-like receptors 2and 4 and TREM-1 are expressed in human myometrium and may play a role in the mechanism of labor at term, and their functional effects are inhibited by MPA.

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