Infection with Chlamydia trachomatis targets epithelial cells within the genital tract which respond by secreting chemokines and cytokines. Persistent inflammation can lead to fibrosis, tubal infertility and/or ectopic pregnancy; many infections are asymptomatic. Most studies have investigated the inflammatory response in the initial stages of infection, less is known about the later stages of infection, especially with a low, potentially asymptomatic, bacterial load. Our objective was to determine the inflammatory mediators involved in clearance of low-grade infection and the potential involvement in chronic inflammation. Six to eight week old C3H/HeJ mice were pretreated with 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate on day -10 and -3 before infection. Mice (n=3 for 28 d, n=3 for 35 d) were infected with 5 × 102 inclusion-forming units of C. trachomatis, serovar D; vaginal cultures were obtained weekly to monitor infection. Control mice (n=3 for 28 d, n=3 for 35 d) were sham infected. Mice were killed on day 28 (experiment 1) and day 35 (experiment 2) post-infection and vaginal tissue, uterine horns and oviducts collected for analysis of mRNAs encoding inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Total RNA was isolated and a superarray analysis performed using mouse Cytokines and Chemokines PCR arrays (Qiagen, Valencia, CA). Statistical differences in gene expression were determined using a paired Students t-test. At 28 days after infection, the expression of mRNA encoding 6, 35 and 3 inflammatory genes differed from controls in vaginal, uterine and oviductal tissues, respectively (P < 0.05). At 35 days after infection, the expression of mRNA encoding 16, 38 and 14 inflammatory genes differed from controls in vaginal, uterine and oviductal tissues, respectively (P < 0.05). Understanding the mechanisms involved in the inflammatory response at later stages of infection should aid in the development of treatment options that minimize the development of asymptomatic, chronic inflammation-induced infertility.
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This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants K12 DA014040 (P.J.B.), P01 HD071875 (P.J.B.), R33 AI079775 (E.M.P.), the University of Kentucky, and Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.
The information reported in this paper (publication no. 15-07-104) is part of a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with approval of the Director.
Cerny, Katheryn L.; Van Fleet, Maranda; Slepenkin, Anatoly; Peterson, Ellena M.; and Bridges, Phillip J., "Differential Expression of mRNA Encoding Cytokines and Chemokines in the Reproductive Tract after Infection of Mice with Chlamydia trachomatis" (2015). Animal and Food Sciences Faculty Publications. 9.