Cyclic Changes in the Level of the Innate Immune Molecule, Surfactant Protein-A, and Cytokines in Vaginal Fluid

Authors

  • Colin MacNeill,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
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  • Glendell de Guzman,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
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  • Grace E. Sousa,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
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  • Todd M. Umstead,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Center for Host defense, Inflammatory and Lung Disease (CHILD) Research, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
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  • David S. Phelps,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Center for Host defense, Inflammatory and Lung Disease (CHILD) Research, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
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  • Joanna Floros,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
    2. Department of Pediatrics, Center for Host defense, Inflammatory and Lung Disease (CHILD) Research, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
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  • Kwangmi Ahn,

    1. Department of Public Health Science, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
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  • Judith Weisz

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
    2. Department of Pathology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
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Correspondence

Colin MacNeill, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.

E-mail: cmacneill@psu.edu

Abstract

Problem

Our knowledge of the innate host defenses in the vagina, a site where these defenses are essential to protecting the host upper reproductive tract from invasion by pathogens, is as yet rudimentary. Specifically, little is known about the pattern-recognition component of vaginal innate immunity, the relationship of pattern-recognition molecules to known cytokine levels, and the role of gonadal hormones in their regulation.

Method of study

We measured levels of Surfactant Protein-A (SP-A), a prototypic innate pattern-recognition protein, in vaginal fluid (VF) and correlated them with levels of IL-1β and IL-8, two cytokines known to be present in VF. Assays were carried out on VF collected over three consecutive cycles from ten healthy naturally cycling women who were sampled at three specific time points in the menstrual cycle. The three time points were chosen to enable correlation with distinct hormonal states.

Results

Both SP-A and cytokines levels were highest 5–6 days after menses (< 0.05) and were significantly lower at ovulation and mid-luteal phase.

Conclusion

Surfactant Protein-A, like other host defense molecules in the reproductive tract, appears to be regulated by gonadal hormones.

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