May 23, 2020

Topical Estrogen Treatment Augments the Vaginal Response to Escherichia coli Flagellin

Scientific Reports
Anna StantonJudith Hall


The female climacteric or menopausal process characterised by reduced estrogen, associates with an increased risk of recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs) linked to uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Clinically, topical vaginal estrogen treatment has a prophylactic effect against such infections. The aim of this study was to investigate, in vitro, the effects of a topical estrogen treatment on vaginal epithelial responses following challenge with E.coli flagellin mimicking an UPEC challenge. Immortalised vaginal epithelial cells (VK2 E6/E7), modelling the vaginal epithelium were treated with either 4 nM 17β-estradiol (E) for seven days, 50 ng/ml E.coli flagellin (F) for 12 h, or 4 nM 17β-estradiol plus 50 ng/ml flagellin (E + F(12 h)). RNA was analysed by microarray gene profiling using the Illumina HumanHT-12 v 4 Expression Beadchip. Following E + F treatments expression of genes encoding host defence molecules including DEFβ4A, DEFB103A, LCN2 as well as those associated with keratinisation eg CNFN and SPRR family genes were significantly enhanced (P < 0.05) compared to either E or F treatments alone. Mutation of estrogen responsive elements (EREs) identified in the DEFβ4 gene promoter abolished the augmented gene exp...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Vaginal Delivery (Finding)
Apolipoprotein E
S100A7 protein, human
AN 12

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