Modulation of human beta-defensin-2 expression by 17beta-estradiol and progesterone in vaginal epithelial cells.

Research paper by June Hyun JH Han, Min Su MS Kim, Moo Yeol MY Lee, Tae Hyoung TH Kim, Mi-Kyung MK Lee, Hye Ryoun HR Kim, Soon Chul SC Myung

Indexed on: 13 Oct '09Published on: 13 Oct '09Published in: Cytokine


We investigated the expression of HBD-1 and -2 in vaginal epithelial cells treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the effects on HBD-2 expressions by 17beta-estradiol and progesterone. Primary vaginal epithelial cells were isolated from a segment of normal anterior vaginal wall obtained during vaginoplasty and were cultured in keratinocyte growth medium and were allowed to undergo their 3rd passage. Expression of HBD-1 and -2 by different stimuli using LPS 0.5 microg/ml, 17beta-estradiol 2 nM and progesterone 1 microM was measured by RT-PCR, ELISA and real-time RT-PCR, respectively. HBD-1 was produced constitutively in vaginal epithelial cells and the production of HBD-1 was not influenced by LPS, 17beta-estradiol and progesterone, but the production of HBD-2 was increased inducibly by LPS. 17beta-Estradiol and progesterone did not change the production of HBD-2 in normal state, but 17beta-estradiol increased the production of HBD-2 and progesterone suppressed the production of HBD-2 under the circumstances with infection. The HBD-2 plays an important role at innate host defense on genitourinary tract. The lacks of estrogen during menopause or uses of a progesterone-based oral contraceptive in sexually active women may influence production of HBD-2 in vaginal epithelium and may increase susceptibility to bacterial vaginitis or recurrent UTI.