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Microbes often infect the uterus and particularly the endometrium of animals. Infections are most commonly associated with natural service, pregnancy and the post-partum period, leading to inflammation with the elaboration of cytokines, chemokines and prostaglandins. Clinical diseases such as metritis, endometritis and abortion are important causes of infertility. The adaptive immune response to infection has been characterized previously, so the present review aims to highlight the emerging role for innate immunity in the endometrium. The detection of microbes and the innate immune response depends on the detection of pathogen-associated molecular patterns by pattern recognition receptors. The main families of pattern recognition receptors are Toll-like receptors (TLRs), nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptors, retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptors and C-type lectin receptors. These receptors are most often expressed by hematopoietic cells, but the epithelial and stromal cells of the endometrium also possess functional receptors. For example, endometrial cells express TLR4 for recognition of the lipopolysaccharide endotoxin of Gram-negative bacteria, leading to secretion of IL-6, IL-8 and prostaglandin E(2) . It is likely that the epithelial and stromal cells provide a first line of defence in the endometrium to alert hematopoietic cells to the presence of microbes within the uterus.
Institute of Life Science, College of Medicine, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, UK.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene
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A spectrum of inflammation involving the female upper genital tract and the supporting tissues. It is usually caused by an ascending infection of organisms from the endocervix. Infection may be confined to the uterus (ENDOMETRITIS), the FALLOPIAN TUBES; (SALPINGITIS); the ovaries (OOPHORITIS), the supporting ligaments (PARAMETRITIS), or may involve several of the above uterine appendages. Such inflammation can lead to functional impairment and infertility.
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