Cyclic Changes in the Level of the Innate Immune Molecule, Surfactant Protein-A, and Cytokines in Vaginal Fluid
Article first published online: 4 JUN 2012
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 68, Issue 3, pages 244–250, September 2012
How to Cite
MacNeill C, de Guzman G, Sousa GE, Umstead TM, Phelps DS, Floros J, Ahn K, Weisz J. Cyclic changes in the level of the innate immune molecule, surfactant protein-A, and cytokines in vaginal fluid. Am J Reprod Immunol 2012; 68: 244–250
- Issue published online: 12 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 4 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 APR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 13 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 30 SEP 2011
- National Vulvodynia Association
- Female hormonal cycle;
- mucosal innate immunity;
- pattern recognition;
- vaginal host defense;
- vaginal mucosa
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.
Both SP-A and cytokines levels were highest 5–6 days after menses (P < 0.05) and were significantly lower at ovulation and mid-luteal phase.
Surfactant Protein-A, like other host defense molecules in the reproductive tract, appears to be regulated by gonadal hormones.