Natural antimicrobial production by the amnion

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to determine the expression of natural antimicrobials in primary cultured amnion epithelial cells and to examine their regulation by interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β).

STUDY DESIGN

Primary amnion epithelial cells were cultured from samples that were obtained at prelabor cesarean section (n = 12) and stimulated with IL-1β. Natural antimicrobial messenger RNA expression was determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and protein was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data was analyzed by analysis of variance.

RESULTS

Primary amnion epithelial cells express messenger RNA for human beta defensin (HBD) 1 to 3, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor and elafin, but not HBD4. IL-1β 10 ng/mL stimulates HBD2 messenger RNA in a biphasic pattern, with a 51-fold increase at 6 hours and a 67-fold at 12 hours (P < .001). HBD2 protein production is significantly increased by 24 hours (P < .05).

CONCLUSION

The amnion produces potent natural antimicrobials that may help protect the pregnancy from infection. HBD2 production is dramatically upregulated by the labor-associated inflammatory cytokine IL-1β.

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