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Reprod Sci. 2007 May;14(4):315-20.

Activation of toll-like receptors 2 or 3 and preterm delivery in the mouse.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Evanston, Illinois 60201, USA.


The objective of this study is to test whether the activation of toll-like receptors (TLRs) 2 and 3 (innate immune receptors for gram-positive and viral pathogens, respectively) can induce preterm delivery. One uterine horn of preterm pregnant CD-1 mice at approximately 75% of gestation was injected with TLR-2 ligands (lipoteichoic acid [LTA] or peptidoglycan [PGN]) or the TLR-3 ligand polyinosinic:cytidylic acid (poly[I:C]). Preterm delivery was recorded. In a separate group of mice, tissue mRNAs were quantified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction 5 hours after treatment with PGN or poly(I:C). Intrauterine PGN and LTA induced preterm delivery, reaching 100% at maximal doses. Intraperitoneal PGN also induced preterm delivery but at lower rates (maximum = 55%). Intrauterine poly(I:C) induced preterm birth in up to 31% of mice. Poly(I:C) induced uterine interferon beta and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5, also known as RANTES) but not interleukin 1beta, tumor necrosis factor, or lipopolysaccharide-induced CXC chemokine. PGN did not alter these mRNAs when compared with saline. Neither treatment induced gene expression in fetal membranes. Activation of either TLR-2 or -3 can induce preterm delivery in the mouse. Activation of TLR-3 with poly(I:C) induces interferon beta and the chemokine CCL5 in uterine tissues but not in fetal membranes.

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