Compartmentalized secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor expression and hormone responses along the reproductive tract of postmenopausal women

Rajesh Kumar, Manuela Vicari, Ilaria Gori, Chahin Achtari, Maryse Fiche, Isabelle Surbeck, Françoise Damnon, Geraldine O. Canny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Immunity and hormonal responses in the reproductive tissues of postmenopausal women are poorly understood. Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), a multifunctional antimicrobial protein expressed at mucosal surfaces, is thought to play a key role in infectious and inflammatory contexts. The aim of this study was to measure SLPI production along the female reproductive tract in postmenopausal women with and without hormonal treatment. We additionally quantified estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and progesterone receptor A (PRA) in these tissues. Expression of SLPI was decreased in the vagina and ectocervix of women under hormonal treatment. Endocervical ERα mRNA expression was increased while this did not reach significance at the protein level. SLPI expression in the endometrium was not influenced by hormonal treatment. We observed attenuated ERα expression in the cervix and endometrium of hormonally treated women, whereas vaginal expression was increased. PRA expression was augmented in the cervix and endometrium and unchanged in the vagina. Taken together, our results indicate that hormonal responses and receptor expression are differentially regulated in vaginal tissue compared with the cervix and endometrium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume92
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial protein
  • Hormones
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Reproductive tract tissue

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