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Infect Immun. 2014 May;82(5):1833-9. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01668-13. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Signaling via tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 but not Toll-like receptor 2 contributes significantly to hydrosalpinx development following Chlamydia muridarum infection.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.


Chlamydial infection in the lower genital tract can lead to hydrosalpinx, which is accompanied by activation of both pattern recognition receptor TLR2- and inflammatory cytokine receptor TNFR1-mediated signaling pathways. In the current study, we compared the relative contributions of these two receptors to chlamydial induction of hydrosalpinx in mice. We found that mice with or without deficiencies in TLR2 or TNFR1 displayed similar time courses of live organism shedding from vaginal swabs, suggesting that these receptor-mediated signaling pathways are not required for controlling chlamydial lower genital infection. However, mice deficient in TNFR1 but not TLR2 developed significantly reduced hydrosalpinx. The decreased pathogenicity correlated with a significant reduction in interleukin-17 by in vitro-restimulated splenocytes of TNFR1-deficient mice. Although TLR2-deficient mice developed hydrosalpinx as severe as that of wild-type mice, peritoneal macrophages from mice deficient in TLR2 but not TNFR1 produced significantly reduced cytokines upon chlamydial stimulation, suggesting that reduced macrophage responses to chlamydial infection do not always lead to a reduction in hydrosalpinx. Thus, we have demonstrated that the signaling pathways triggered by the cytokine receptor TNFR1 play a more significant role in chlamydial induction of hydrosalpinx than those mediated by the pattern recognition receptor TLR2, which has laid a foundation for further revealing the chlamydial pathogenic mechanisms.

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