Innate Immunity in the Vagina (Part I): Estradiol Inhibits HBD2 and Elafin Secretion by Human Vaginal Epithelial Cells
Article first published online: 8 FEB 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 69, Issue 5, pages 463–474, May 2013
How to Cite
Innate immunity in the vagina (part I): estradiol inhibits HBD2 and elafin secretion by human vaginal epithelial cells. Am J Reprod Immunol 2013; 69: 463–474., , , .
- Issue published online: 12 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 26 NOV 2012
- NIH. Grant Numbers: AI013541, AI102838, AI071761
- epithelial cells;
- human immunodeficiency virus;
- innate immunity;
- selective estrogen response modulators;
Vaginal epithelial cells (VEC) are the first line of defense against incoming pathogens in the female reproductive tract. Their ability to produce the anti-HIV molecules elafin and HBD2 under hormonal stimulation is unknown.
Method of study
Vaginal epithelial cells were recovered using a menstrual cup and cultured overnight prior to treatment with estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4) or a panel of selective estrogen response modulators (SERMs). Conditioned media were recovered and analyzed for protein concentration and anti-HIV activity.
E2 significantly decreased the secretion of HBD2 and elafin by VEC over 48 hrs, while P4 and the SERMs (tamoxifen, PHTTP, ICI or Y134) had no effect. VEC conditioned media from E2-treated cells had no anti-HIV activity, while that from E2/P4-treated cells significantly inhibited HIV-BaL infection.
The menstrual cup allows for effective recovery of primary VEC. Their production of HBD2 and elafin is sensitive to E2, suggesting that innate immune protection varies in the vagina across the menstrual cycle.