Estradiol modulation of hepatocyte growth factor by stromal fibroblasts in the female reproductive tract
ABSTRACT Primary human uterine, cervical, and ectocervical stromal fibroblasts constitutively secrete hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), yet only uterine stromal fibroblasts increase HGF secretion in response to estradiol. Estradiol-induced HGF secretion by uterine stromal fibroblasts may have a significant effect on uterine cancer and endometriosis.
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ABSTRACT: The conflicting results of recent pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) trials utilizing tenofovir (TFV) to prevent HIV infection in women led us to evaluate the accumulation of intracellular TFV-diphosphate (TFV-DP) in cells from the female reproductive tract (FRT) and whether sex hormones influence the presence of TFV-DP in these cells. Following incubation with TFV, isolated epithelial cells, fibroblasts, CD4+ T cells and CD14+ cells from the FRT as well as blood CD4+ T cells and monocyte-derived macrophages convert TFV to TFV-DP. Unexpectedly, we found that TFV-DP concentrations (fmol/million cells) vary significantly with the cell type analyzed and the site within the FRT. Epithelial cells had 5-fold higher TFV-DP concentrations than fibroblasts; endometrial epithelial cells had higher TFV-DP concentrations than cells from the ectocervix. Epithelial cells had 125-fold higher TFV-DP concentrations than FRT CD4+ T cells, which were comparable to that measured in peripheral blood CD4+ T cells. These findings suggest the existence of a TFV-DP gradient in the FRT where epithelial cells > fibroblasts > CD4+ T cells and macrophages. In other studies, estradiol increased TFV-DP concentrations in endometrial and endocervical/ectocervical epithelial cells, but had no effect on fibroblasts or CD4+ T cells from FRT tissues. In contrast, progesterone alone and in combination with estradiol decreased TFV-DP concentrations in FRT CD4+ T cells. Our results suggest that epithelial cells and fibroblasts are a repository of TFV-DP that is under hormonal control. These cells might act either as a sink to decrease TFV availability to CD4+ T cells and macrophages in the FRT, or upon conversion of TFV-DP to TFV increase TFV availability to HIV-target cells. In summary, these results indicate that intracellular TFV-DP varies with cell type and location in the FRT and demonstrate that estradiol and/or progesterone regulate the intracellular concentrations of TFV-DP in FRT epithelial cells and CD4+ T cells.PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e100863. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0100863 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite extensive studies of the mucosal immune system in the female reproductive tract (FRT) and its regulation by sex hormones, relatively little attention has been paid to the tissue environment in the FRT that regulates immune cell function. Consisting of secretions from epithelial cells (EC), stromal fibroblasts, and immune cells in tissues from the upper (Fallopian tubes, uterus, and endocervix) and lower (ectocervix and vagina) tracts, each tissue compartment is unique and precisely regulates immune cells to optimize conditions for successful pregnancy and protection against sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. Our goal in this review is to focus on the mucosal (tissue) environment in the upper and lower FRT. Specifically, this review will identify the contributions of EC and fibroblasts to the tissue environment and examine the impact of this environment on HIV-target cells. Much remains to be learned about the complex interactions with the tissue environment at different sites in the FRT and the ways in which they are regulated by sex hormones and chemical contraceptives. Awareness of the involvement of the tissue environment in determining immune cell function and HIV acquisition is crucial for understanding the mechanisms that lead to HIV prevention, acquisition, and the development of new therapeutic modalities of immune protection.American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 03/2014; DOI:10.1111/aji.12235 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The immune system in the female reproductive tract (FRT) does not mount an attack against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted infections (STI) with a single endogenously produced microbicide or with a single arm of the immune system. Instead, the body deploys dozens of innate antimicrobials to the secretions of the FRT. Working together, these antimicrobials along with mucosal antibodies attack viral, bacterial, and fungal targets. Within the FRT, the unique challenges of protection against sexually transmitted pathogens coupled with the need to sustain the development of an allogeneic fetus, has evolved in such a way that sex hormones precisely regulate immune function to accomplish both tasks. The studies presented in this review demonstrate that estradiol (E2 ) and progesterone secreted during the menstrual cycle act both directly and indirectly on epithelial cells, fibroblasts and immune cells in the reproductive tract to modify immune function in a way that is unique to specific sites throughout the FRT. As presented in this review, studies from our laboratory and others demonstrate that the innate and adaptive immune systems are under hormonal control, that protection varies with the stage of the menstrual cycle and as such, is dampened during the secretory stage of the cycle to optimize conditions for fertilization and pregnancy. In doing so, a window of STI vulnerability is created during which potential pathogens including HIV enter the reproductive tract to infect host targets.American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 04/2014; DOI:10.1111/aji.12252 · 3.32 Impact Factor