Author(s): Mares D, Simoes JA, Novak RM, Spear GT, Mares D, Simoes JA, Novak RM, Spear GT
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Abstract Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is associated with preterm labor, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and increased HIV acquisition, although the pathways that mediate these pathological effects have not been elucidated. To determine the presence of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-ligands and their specificity in BV, genital tract fluids were collected from women with and without BV by cervicovaginal lavage (CVL). The CVL samples were evaluated for their ability to stimulate secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and to activate NFkappaB and the HIV long terminal repeat (LTR), indicators of TLR activation, in human monocytic cells. Stimulation with BV CVLs induced higher levels of IL-8 and TNFalpha secretion, as well as higher levels of HIV LTR and NFkappaB activation, than CVLs from women with normal healthy bacterial flora. To identify which TLRs were important in BV, 293 cells expressing specific TLRs were exposed to CVL samples. BV CVLs induced higher IL-8 secretion by cells expressing TLR2 than CVLs from women without BV. Surprisingly, BV CVLs did not stimulate cells expressing TLR4/MD2, although these cells responded to purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a TLR4 ligand. BV CVLs, in cells expressing TLR2, also activated the HIV LTR. Thus, these studies show that soluble factor(s) present in the lower genital tract of women with BV activate cells via TLR2, identifying a pathway through which BV may mediate adverse effects.
This article was published in J Reprod Immunol
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research