RelB activation in anti-inflammatory decidual endothelial cells: a master plan to avoid pregnancy failure?
ABSTRACT: It is known that excessive inflammation at fetal-maternal interface is a key contributor in a compromised pregnancy. Female genital tract is constantly in contact with microorganisms and several strategies must be adopted to avoid pregnancy failure. Decidual endothelial cells (DECs) lining decidual microvascular vessels are the first cells that interact with pro-inflammatory stimuli released into the environment by microorganisms derived from gestational tissues or systemic circulation. Here, we show that DECs are hypo-responsive to LPS stimulation in terms of IL-6, CXCL8 and CCL2 production. Our results demonstrate that DECs express low levels of TLR4 and are characterized by a strong constitutive activation of the non-canonical NF-κB pathway and a low responsiveness of the canonical pathway to LPS. In conclusion, DECs show a unique hypo-responsive phenotype to the pro-inflammatory stimulus LPS in order to control the inflammatory response at feto-maternal interface.
Project description:BACKGROUND:An aberrant and persistent inflammatory state at the fetal-maternal interface is considered as a key contributor in compromised pregnancies. Decidual endothelial cells (DECs) play a pivotal role in the control of the local decidual inflammation. The aim of the current study was to determine whether dietary supplement with zinc oxide (ZnO), due to its very low adverse effects, may be useful for modulating the inflammatory response in the first trimester of pregnancy. METHODS:The anti-inflammatory properties of ZnO in pregnancy were evaluated by in vitro tests on endothelial cells isolated from normal deciduas and on a trophoblast cell line (HTR8/Svneo). The effects of this treatment were analyzed in terms of adhesion molecule expression and inflammatory cytokine secretion, by real time-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS:Our data showed that ZnO was able to reduce the inflammatory response of DECs, in terms of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), interleukin (IL)-8, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) expression induced by TNF-? stimulation. This compound exerted no effect on intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) exocytosis induced by TNF-? on stimulated trophoblast cells, but significantly reduced their IL-6 expression. CONCLUSION:According to these results, it can be suggested that the ZnO supplement, through its modulation of the pro-inflammatory response of DECs, can be used in pregnancy for the prevention of local decidual inflammation.
Project description:This study was prompted by the observation that decidual endothelial cells (DECs), unlike endothelial cells (ECs) of blood vessels in normal skin, kidney glomeruli and brain, express surface-bound C1q in physiologic pregnancy. This finding was unexpected, because deposits of C1q are usually observed in pathologic conditions and are associated with complement activation. In the case of DECs, we failed to detect immunoglobulins and C4 co-localized with C1q on the cell surface. Surprisingly, DECs expressed mRNA for the three chains of C1q and secreted detectable level of this component in serum-free medium. The ability to synthesize C1q is acquired by DECs during pregnancy and is not shared by ECs obtained from endometrium and from other sources. Cell-associated C1q has a molecular weight similar to that of secreted C1q and is released from DECs following treatment with heparinase or incubation at low pH. This suggests that C1q binds to DECs and it is not constitutively expressed on the cell surface. C1q is localized at contact sites between endovascular trophoblast and DECs and acts as an intercellular molecular bridge because adhesion of endovascular trophoblast to DECs was inhibited by antibodies to C1q and to a receptor recognizing its globular portion expressed on trophoblast.
Project description:A pro-inflammatory cytokine profile at the feto-maternal interface may predispose immune maladaptation notably in early miscarriages. We investigated the involvement of estradiol (E2)-activated serum-glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1 (SGK1) in preserving the tolerogenic and pro-survival intrauterine microenvironment beneficial to gestation maintenance. Decidual SGK1 was down-regulated in early miscarriage, consistent with the lower serum E2 concentration seen in pregnancy loss. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/Toll-like receptors 4 (TLR4) signaling induced apoptosis and the pro-inflammatory T helper type (TH) 1 response of decidual stromal cells (DSCs) were associated with miscarriage. SGK1 activation was suppressed by LPS/TLR4 signaling and would be rescued by E2 administration via the PI3K signaling pathway in DSCs. SGK1 activation attenuated TLR4-mediated cell apoptosis, while promoting cell viability of DSCs by up-regulating the pro-survival genes BCL2 and XIAP, and enhancing the phosphorylation of FOXO1. Furthermore, E2-induced SGK1 activation reduced the secretion of pro-inflammatory TH1 cytokines, and promoted the generation of TH2 cytokines and elevated IRF4 mRNA and protein levels in LPS-incubated DSCs. Pharmacologic inhibition of SGK1 or suppression by small interfering (si) RNA increased the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of NF-?B to reverse the pro-TH2 and anti-inflammatory effects of E2 pretreatment, leading to compromised pregnancy. These findings suggest that the E2-mediated SGK1 activation suppressed LPS-mediated apoptosis and promoted the anti-inflammatory TH2 responses in DSCs, ultimately contributing to a successful pregnancy.
Project description:Preterm birth (PTB) is a syndrome with many origins. Among them, infection or inflammation are major risk factors for PTB; however, local defense mechanisms to mount anti-inflammatory responses against inflammation-induced PTB are poorly understood. Here, we show that endothelial TLR4 in the decidual bed is critical for sensing inflammation during pregnancy because mice with endothelial Tlr4 deletion are resistant to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced PTB. Under inflammatory conditions, IL-6 is readily expressed in decidual endothelial cells with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) phosphorylation in perivascular stromal cells, which then regulates expression of anti-inflammatory IL-10. Our observation that administration of an IL-10 neutralizing antibody predisposing mice to PTB shows IL-10's anti-inflammatory role to prevent PTB. We show that the integration of endothelial and perivascular stromal signaling can determine pregnancy outcomes. These findings highlight a role for endothelial TLR4 in inflammation-induced PTB and may offer a potential therapeutic target to prevent PTB.
Project description:Premature decidual senescence is a contributing factor to preterm birth. Fatty acid amide hydrolase mutant females (Faah-/-) with higher endocannabinoid levels are also more susceptible to preterm birth upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge due to enhanced decidual senescence; this is associated with mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 activation. Previous studies have shown that mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) contributes to decidual senescence and promotes the incidence of preterm birth. In this study, we sought to attenuate premature decidual aging in Faah-/- females by targeting mTORC1 and p38 signaling pathways. Because metformin is known to inhibit mTOR and p38 signaling pathways, Faah-/- females were treated with metformin. These mice had a significantly lower preterm birth incidence with a higher rate of live birth after an LPS challenge on day 16 of pregnancy; metformin treatment did not affect placentation or neonatal birth weight. These results were associated with decreased levels of p38, as well as pS6, a downstream mediator of mTORC1 activity, in day 16 Faah-/-decidual tissues. Since metformin treatment attenuates premature decidual senescence with limited side effects during pregnancy, careful use of this drug may be effective in ameliorating specific adverse pregnancy events.
Project description:PROBLEM:Bacterial chorioamnionitis causes adverse pregnancy outcomes, yet host-microbial interactions are not well characterized within gestational membranes. The decidua, the outermost region of the membranes, is a potential point of entry for bacteria ascending from the vagina to cause chorioamnionitis. We sought to determine whether paracrine communication between decidual stromal cells and macrophages shaped immune responses to microbial sensing. METHOD OF STUDY:Decidual cell-macrophage interactions were modeled in vitro utilizing decidualized, telomerase-immortalized human endometrial stromal cells (dTHESCs) and phorbol ester-differentiated THP-1 macrophage-like cells. The production of inflammatory mediators in response to LPS was monitored by ELISA for both cell types, while phagocytosis of bacterial pathogens (Escherichia coli and Group B Streptococcus (GBS)) was measured in THP-1 cells or primary human placental macrophages. Diclofenac, a non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor, and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 ) were utilized to interrogate prostaglandins as decidual cell-derived paracrine immunomodulators. A mouse model of ascending chorioamnionitis caused by GBS was utilized to assess the colocalization of bacteria and macrophages in vivo and assess PGE2 production. RESULTS:In response to LPS, dTHESC and THP-1 coculture demonstrated enhancement of most inflammatory mediators, but a potent suppression of macrophage TNF-? generation was observed. This appeared to reflect a paracrine-mediated effect of decidual cell-derived PGE2 . In mice with GBS chorioamnionitis, macrophages accumulated at sites of bacterial invasion with increased PGE2 in amniotic fluid, suggesting such paracrine effects might hold relevance in vivo. CONCLUSION:These data suggest key roles for decidual stromal cells in modulating tissue responses to microbial threat through release of PGE2 .
Project description:Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are important in mediating immune responses against various pathogens during pregnancy. However, uncontrolled TLR-triggered inflammation will endanger normal pregnancy, resulting in pregnancy loss. Therefore, maintenance of a moderate inflammatory response is crucial for successful pregnancy under conditions of infection. Here, we demonstrated significantly lowered expression of T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (Tim-3) in miscarried decidual stromal cells (DSCs), indicating that Tim-3 might play important roles in maintaining successful pregnancies. Activation of TLR signaling induced pro-inflammatory cytokine production and apoptosis of DSCs, which was accompanied by up-regulated Tim-3 expression. Tim-3, in turn, protected DSCs from TLR-mediated apoptosis in an ERK1/2 pathway-dependent manner. In addition, Tim-3 inhibited TLR signaling-induced inflammatory cytokine production by DSCs through suppressing NF-?B activation. Tim-3 increased production of T helper 2 (Th2)-type cytokines by DSCs and reversed the inhibitory effect of LPS on Th2 cytokine generation by up-regulation of interferon regulatory factor 4 expression. Tim-3 blockade abolished the effect of Tim-3 on the inflammatory response to LPS stimulation. Thus, Tim-3 signaling could represent a "self-control" mechanism in TLR-triggered inflammation during pregnancy. These findings identify Tim-3 as a key regulator of DSCs and suggest its potential as a target for the treatment of spontaneous abortion.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In pregnancy, excessive inflammation and break down of immunologic tolerance can contribute to miscarriage. Endothelial cells (ECs) are able to orchestrate the inflammatory processes by secreting pro-inflammatory mediators and bactericidal factors by modulating leakiness and leukocyte trafficking, via the expression of adhesion molecules and chemokines. The aim of this study was to analyse the differences in the phenotype between microvascular ECs isolated from decidua (DECs) and ECs isolated from human skin (ADMECs). METHODS:DECs and ADMECs were characterized for their basal expression of angiogenic factors and adhesion molecules. A range of immunological responses was evaluated, such as vessel leakage, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in response to TNF-? stimulation, adhesion molecules expression and leukocyte migration in response to TNF-? and IFN-? stimulation. RESULTS:DECs produced higher levels of HGF, VEGF-A and IGFBP3 compared to ADMECs. DECs expressed adhesion molecules, ICAM-2 and ICAM-3, and a mild response to TNF-? was observed. Finally, DECs produced high levels of CXCL9/MIG and CXCL10/IP-10 in response to IFN-? and selectively recruited Treg lymphocytes. CONCLUSION:DEC phenotype differs considerably from that of ADMECs, suggesting that DECs may play an active role in the control of immune response and angiogenesis at the foetal-maternal interface.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:During human pregnancy, the endothelial cells of the uterine spiral arteries (SPA) are extensively replaced by a subtype of placental trophoblasts, endovascular extravillous trophoblasts (enEVTs), thus establishing a placental-maternal circulation. On this pathway, foetus-derived placental villi and enEVTs bath into the maternal blood that perfuses along SPA being not attacked by the maternal lymphocytes. We aimed to reveal the underlying mechanism of such immune tolerance. METHODS:In situ hybridization, immunofluorescence, ELISA and FCM assay were performed to examine TGF-?1 expression and distribution of regulatory T cells (Tregs) along the placental-maternal circulation route. The primary enEVTs, interstitial extravillous trophoblasts (iEVTs) and decidual endothelial cells (dECs) were purified by FACS, and their conditioned media were collected to treat naïve CD4+ T cells. Treg differentiation was measured by FLOW and CFSE assays. RESULTS:We found that enEVTs but not iEVTs or dECs actively produced TGF-?1. The primary enEVTs significantly promoted naïve CD4+ T-cell differentiation into immunosuppressive FOXP3+ Tregs, and this effect was dependent on TGF-?1. In recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) patients, an evidently reduced proportion of TGF-?1-producing enEVTs and their ability to educate Tregs differentiation were observed. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings demonstrate a unique immune-regulatory characteristic of placental enEVTs to develop immune tolerance along the placental-maternal circulation. New insights into the pathogenesis of RSA are also suggested.
Project description:Decidual cells are central to innate immunity at the maternal/fetal interface. We sought to characterize the response of decidual cells to stimulation and then removal of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) using a whole genome approach. Decidual cells were isolated from term unlabored cesarean sections. Cells were stimulated with LPS and RNA isolated both pre-stimulation and 2 and 24 h post-stimulation. Media were changed and RNA extracted 48 h later. Gene expression was measured using Agilent 44K whole genome microarrays. Data were visualized and interpreted using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software and selected (n=5) target gene expression was verified with quantitative real-time PCR. Genes related to immune function were up-regulated at 2 and 24 h after LPS exposure and then generally returned to baseline or were at least substantially reduced after LPS removal. Pathway analysis also revealed that genes involved in lipid metabolism (specifically cholesterol and steroid biosynthesis), iron metabolism, and the plasminogen system were coordinately altered following exposure to LPS. Our novel, preliminary findings provide insight into possible mechanisms via which the host inflammatory response could contribute to preterm birth and warrant further investigation in preterm samples.