Author(s): Nguyen BT, Minkiewicz V, McCabe E, Cecile J, Mowa CN
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Abstract Inflammation is believed to play a role in uterine cervical remodeling and infection-induced preterm labor. One of the distinct features of remodeling uterine cervix is presence of prominent vascular events, such as angiogenesis, vasodilation, and vascular permeability. Although the functional significance of these features is not yet clear, we know that in most tissue types, vascular remodeling is intricately intertwined with inflammation. Since vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the major architect of vascular remodeling, we sought to examine and elucidate the potential relationship between VEGF and inflammation in the uterine cervix of non-pregnant mice. The animals used were divided into 4 treatment groups: A) negative control (vehicle only), B) positive control (lipopolysaccharide, LPS), C) recombinant VEGF-164 protein, and D) LPS + VEGF blocker (n = 3). After the appropriate treatments, the uterine cervices were harvested and analyzed using real-time PCR and confocal fluorescence microscopy. Results showed that exogenous VEGF upregulates expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α mRNAs, whereas VEGF blocker partially diminishes the LPS-induced expression of pro-inflammatory factors compared to the positive control group. We conclude that a positive feed-forward relationship likely exists between VEGF and inflammation in the uterine cervix, thus implicating VEGF in inflammation-induced preterm labor.
This article was published in Biomed Res
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science