Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Infection and Immunity


Geisel School of Medicine


We have previously demonstrated that rat uterine epithelial cells (UEC) produce CCL20/macrophage inflammatory protein 3 alpha (MIP3alpha) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in response to live and heat-killed Escherichia coli and to the pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Pam3Cys. To determine whether estradiol (E2) modulates PAMP-induced CCL20/MIP3alpha and TNF-alpha secretion, primary cultures of rat UEC were incubated with E2 for 24 h and then treated with LPS or Pam3Cys or not treated for an additional 12 h. E2 inhibited the constitutive secretion of TNF-alpha and CCL20/MIP3alpha into culture media. Interestingly, E2 pretreatment enhanced CCL20/MIP3alpha secretion due to LPS and Pam3Cys administration. In contrast, and at the same time, E2 lowered the TNF-alpha response to both PAMP. To determine whether estrogen receptors (ER) mediated the effects of E2, epithelial cells were incubated with E2 and/or ICI 182,780, a known ER antagonist. ICI 182,780 had no effect on E2 inhibition of constitutive TNF-alpha and CCL20/MIP3alpha secretion. In contrast, ICI 182,780 reversed the stimulatory effect of E2 on LPS- and/or Pam3Cys-induced CCL20/MIP3alpha secretion as well as partially reversed the inhibitory effect of E2 on TNF-alpha production by epithelial cells. Overall, these results indicate that E2 regulates the production of TNF-alpha and CCL20/MIP3alpha by UEC in the absence as well as presence of PAMP. Since CCL20/MIP3alpha has antimicrobial activity and is chemotactic for immune cells, these studies suggest that regulation of CCL20/MIP3alpha and TNF-alpha by E2 and PAMP may have profound effects on innate and adaptive immune responses to microbial challenge in the female reproductive tract.



Original Citation

Crane-Godreau MA, Wira CR. Effects of estradiol on lipopolysaccharide and Pam3Cys stimulation of CCL20/macrophage inflammatory protein 3 alpha and tumor necrosis factor alpha production by uterine epithelial cells in culture. Infect Immun. 2005 Jul;73(7):4231-7. doi: 10.1128/IAI.73.7.4231-4237.2005. PMID: 15972514; PMCID: PMC1168574.