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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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Peptides and proteins found in BODILY SECRETIONS and BODY FLUIDS that are PROTEASE INHIBITORS. They play a role in INFLAMMATION, tissue repair and innate immunity (IMMUNITY, INNATE) by inhibiting endogenous proteinases such as those produced by LEUKOCYTES and exogenous proteases such as those produced by invading microorganisms.
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.
The non-susceptibility to infection of a large group of individuals in a population. A variety of factors can be responsible for herd immunity and this gives rise to the different definitions used in the literature. Most commonly, herd immunity refers to the case when, if most of the population is immune, infection of a single individual will not cause an epidemic. Also, in such immunized populations, susceptible individuals are not likely to become infected. Herd immunity can also refer to the case when unprotected individuals fail to contract a disease because the infecting organism has been banished from the population.
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