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Immunology. 2006 Jun;118(2):185-94.

Effect of oestradiol on PAMP-mediated CCL20/MIP-3 alpha production by mouse uterine epithelial cells in culture.

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Department of Physiology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH 03765, USA.


The present study was undertaken to establish whether mouse uterine epithelial cells produce CCL20/macrophage inflammatory protein 3 alpha (CCL20/MIP-3 alpha) and to determine whether secretion is under hormonal control and influenced by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). In the absence of PAMPs, polarized uterine epithelial cells grown to confluence on cell culture inserts constitutively secreted CCL20/MIP-3 alpha with preferential accumulation into the apical compartment. When epithelial cells were treated with the Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists Pam3Cys (TLR2/1), peptidoglycan (TLR2/6) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS; TLR4), CCL20/MIP-3 alpha increased rapidly (4 hr) in both apical and basolateral secretions. Time-course studies indicated that responses to PAMPs added to the apical surface persisted for 12-72 hr. Stimulation with loxoribin (TLR7) and DNA CpG motif (TLR9) increased basolateral but not apical secretion of CCL20/MIP-3 alpha. In contrast, the viral agonist Poly(I:C) (TLR3) had no effect on either apical or basolateral secretion. In other studies, we found that oestradiol added to the culture media decreased the constitutive release of CCL20/MIP-3 alpha. Moreover, when added to the culture media along with LPS, oestradiol inhibited LPS-induced increases in CCL20/MIP-3 alpha secretion into both the apical and basolateral compartments. In summary, these results indicate that CCL20/MIP-3 alpha is produced in response to PAMPs. Since CCL20/MIP-3 alpha is chemotactic for immature dendritic cells, B cells and memory T cells and has antimicrobial properties, these studies suggest that CCL20/MIP-3 alpha production by epithelial cells, an important part of the innate immune defence in the female reproductive tract, is under hormonal control and is responsive to microbial challenge.

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