Clearance of Chlamydia trachomatis from the murine genital mucosa does not require perforin-mediated cytolysis or Fas-mediated apoptosis.
The molecular mechanisms of resistance to genital infection with the mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) strain of Chlamydia trachomatis are unknown. A role for major histocompatibility complex class II-restricted, interleukin-12-dependent CD4(+) T cells has been established, but the functional activity of these cells does not depend on secretion of gamma interferon. Here we examined the potential contribution of T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis to mucosal clearance of MoPn by using mice deficient in the molecular mediators of target cell lysis. Animals lacking perforin, Fas, Fas ligand, or both perforin and Fas ligand were infected genitally with C. trachomatis MoPn and monitored for expression of immunity to chlamydial antigens and clearance of MoPn from the genital mucosa. In each case, the profile of spleen cytokine production, the magnitude of the host antibody response, and the kinetics of chlamydial clearance were similar to those of genetically intact controls. Compensatory overproduction of tumor necrosis factor alpha, an alternate mediator of apoptosis in certain cell types, did not appear to account for the ability of mutant mice to resolve Chlamydia infections. These results fail to support CD4(+) T-cell-mediated apoptosis or CD8(+) T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity as being critical to the clearance of C. trachomatis MoPn urogenital infections. (+info)
Uterine peristalsis during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: effects of oestrogen, antioestrogen and oxytocin.
Uterine peristalsis, directing sustained and rapid sperm transport from the external cervical os or the cervical crypts to the isthmic part of the tube ipsilateral to the dominant follicle, changes in direction and frequency during the menstrual cycle, with lowest activity during menstruation and highest activity at mid cycle. It was therefore suggested that uterine peristalsis is under the control of the dominant follicle with the additional involvement of oxytocin. To test this hypothesis, vaginal sonography of uterine peristalsis was performed in the early, mid and late proliferative phases, respectively, of cycles of women treated with oestradiol valerate and with human menopausal gonadotrophin following pituitary downregulation, with clomiphene citrate and with intravenous oxytocin, respectively. Administration of oestradiol valerate resulted in oestradiol serum concentrations comparable with the normal cycle with a simulation of the normal frequency of peristaltic contractions. Elevated oestradiol concentrations and bolus injections of oxytocin resulted in a significant increase in the frequency of peristaltic contractions in the early and mid follicular phases, respectively. Chlomiphene tended, though insignificantly so, to suppress the frequency of peristaltic waves in the presence of elevated oestradiol concentrations. In the late follicular phase of the cycle extremely elevated oestradiol concentrations as well as the injection of oxytocin resulted only in an insignificant further increase of peristaltic frequency. In the normal cycles, as well as during extremely elevated oestradiol concentrations and following oxytocin administration, the peristaltic contractions were always confined to the subendometrial layer of the muscular wall. The results and the review of literature indicate that uterine peristalsis during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle is controlled by oestradiol released from the dominant follicle with the probable involvement of oxytocin, which is presumably stimulated together with its receptor within the endometrial-subendometrial unit and therefore acting in an autocrine/paracrine fashion. Since unphysiological stimulation with oestradiol and oxytocin did not significantly increase the frequency of uterine peristalsis in the late follicular phase of the cycle it is assumed that normal preovulatory frequency of uterine peristalsis is at a level which cannot be significantly surpassed due to phenomena of refractoriness of the system. (+info)
Correlation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA levels in blood and the female genital tract.
In this study, the correlations of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA levels in blood plasma, vaginal secretions, and cervical mucus of 52 HIV-1-infected women were determined. The amount of cell-free HIV-1 RNA in blood plasma was correlated with that in vaginal secretions (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (r) = 0.64, P<.001). In both blood plasma and vaginal secretions, the amounts of cell-free and cell-associated HIV-1 RNA were highly correlated (r=0.76, P<.01 and r=0.85, P<.01, respectively). Cell-free HIV-1 RNA levels in blood plasma and vaginal secretions were negatively correlated with CD4+ T lymphocyte count (r=-0.44, P<.01 and r=-0.40, P<.01, respectively). Similar to the effect observed in blood plasma, initiation of antiretroviral therapy significantly reduced the amount of HIV-1 RNA in vaginal secretions. These findings suggest that factors that lower blood plasma virus load may also reduce the risk of perinatal and female-to-male heterosexual transmission by lowering vaginal virus load. (+info)
Serotypes VI and VIII predominate among group B streptococci isolated from pregnant Japanese women.
Infection by group B streptococcus (GBS) is an important cause of bacterial disease in neonates, pregnant women, and nonpregnant adults. Whereas serotypes Ia, Ib, II, III, and V are most commonly associated with colonization and disease in the United States, strains of other serotypes have been isolated from patients in Japan. By use of an inhibition ELISA, the serotypes of 73 vaginal colonizing GBS strains isolated from healthy pregnant Japanese women were investigated. Twenty-six (35.6%) were type VIII, 18 (24.7%) were type VI, and the remaining 29 were distributed among more traditional serotypes. Strains were also tested by immunoblot for the presence of GBS surface proteins. Fifty-three (72.6%) of the 73 strains expressed one or more laddering GBS proteins. These data show that type VI and VIII GBS strains are common vaginal isolates in pregnant Japanese women and that one or more laddering proteins are present in most GBS strains. (+info)
Transvaginal ultrasonography in the assessment of organic diseases of female urethra.
The current investigation aimed to check the effectiveness of transvaginal ultrasonography in the diagnosis of organic urethral diseases, comparing its results with those of conventional examinations (physical examination, voiding cystourethrography, pelvic ultrasonography, cystourethroscopy). Transvaginal ultrasonography was performed in 560 female patients with recurrent cystitis, dysuria, or palpable masses and diagnosed the following urethral diseases: 25 diverticula, seven stenoses, three carcinomas, two leiomyomas of periurethral tissue, and one incomplete duplex urethra. In our study transvaginal ultrasonography proved to be the most reliable diagnostic tool among imaging methods used. (+info)
Upregulation of connexin 26 is a feature of keratinocyte differentiation in hyperproliferative epidermis, vaginal epithelium, and buccal epithelium.
In epidermis, it has been suggested, intercellular communication through gap junctions is important in coordinating cell behavior. The connexins, may facilitate selective assembly or permeability of gap junctions, influencing the distribution of metabolites between cells. Using immunohistochemistry, we have compared the distribution of connexins 26 and 43 with that of proliferating cells (Ki67 labeling) in normal epidermis, hyperplastic epidermis (tape-stripped epidermis, psoriatic lesions, and viral warts), and vaginal and buccal epithelia. Connexin 43 was abundant in spinous layers of all epidermal specimens and in vaginal and buccal epithelia. Connexin 26 was absent from the interfollicular and interductal epidermis of normal hair-bearing skin, and nonlesional psoriatic epidermis but present at very low levels in plantar epidermis. Connexin 26 was prominent in lesional psoriatic epidermis and viral warts and in vaginal and buccal epithelia. In three independent experiments connexin 26 appeared in a patchy intercellular distribution in the basal epidermis within 24 h of tape stripping, proceeding to more extensive distribution in basal and suprabasal layers by 48 h. The increase in connexin 26 preceded that in cell proliferation. In vaginal epithelium, buccal epithelium, and viral warts connexin 26 was restricted mainly to suprabasal, nonproliferating cells. In psoriatic lesional epidermis connexin 26 was also located mainly in suprabasal, nonproliferating cells. Connexin 26 was present in a patchy distribution in the basal layer of psoriatic lesional epidermis, but double labeling for connexin 26 and Ki67 showed that many connexin 26 positive basal cells were nonproliferative, suggesting that connexin 26 may be related to differentiation rather than to proliferation. These observations would be consistent with a role for connexin 26 containing gap junctions during both early and later stages of keratinocyte differentiation in hyperplastic epidermis and in vaginal and buccal epithelia. (+info)
Cyclical changes in epithelial cells of the vaginal cul-de-sac of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula).
The aim of this study was to describe and quantify the changes that occur in cul-de-sac tissue, in particular to epithelial cells and their constituents, at specific stages of the estrous cycle in the brushtail possum. Stereological techniques were used to quantify changes in cul-de-sac epithelial cells collected at four stages of the estrous cycle; the time of removal of pouch young (RPY; n = 5), of initial follicle development (n = 5), of preovulatory follicle formation (n = 5), of midluteal stage (n = 4), and again at RPY (n = 5) after completion of the experiment to examine for any effects due to season or time. Tissue was weighed and processed for light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and stereological analysis. Cul-de-sac epithelial cell volume increased approximately 17-fold at the time of preovulatory follicle formation compared with that at the time of RPY, before declining (approximately four-fold greater than at RPY) during the midluteal phase. Epithelial cell volume enlargement was correlated strongly with the size of the preovulatory follicle present, and maximum size was coincidental with the formation of extracellular spaces and projection of cell processes between lateral cell membranes. Maximum cell volume was associated with an approximate 25-fold and six-fold increase in cytoplasmic and nuclear volume, respectively. Enlargement of the epithelial cells coincided with an increase in cytoplasmic organelle numbers, microvilli prominence, and accumulation of secretory vesicles. In the possum, the cul-de-sac epithelial cell undergoes phenomenal remodelling during the estrous cycle to accommodate an approximate 17-fold increase in volume. This increase in cell volume is coincident with morphological changes characteristic of secretory activity and appears to be under estrogen regulation. (+info)
Kinetic analysis of hormone-induced mitoses in epithelial cells of mouse uterus and vagina.
The intracellular localization of 3H-estradiol-17beta and 3H-progesterone to the different types of cells in the mouse uterus was investigated using autoradiographic techniques. The kinetics of cell proliferation in the surface epithelium of the uterus and in the vaginal epithelium (basal layer) are analysed by means of cumulative labeling method and mitosis chase method using 3H-thymidine autoradiographic procedures. The results are as follows, (1) Epithelial cell population of the uterine lumen and basal cell population of the vaginal epithelium in the ovariectomized mouse are divided into a major subpopulation of GO cells and a minor subpopulation of proliferating cells. (2) Proliferative potencies of uterine surface epithelial cells and vaginal basal cells in the ovariectomized mouse are regulated by a steroid-independent mechanisms through which the proportion of the GO cell-compartment and Tc value of the proliferating cell-compartment are determined according to their age; as the castrated mouse grows older, Tc value becomes longer and the proportion of the Go cell-compartment becomes larger. (3) If the dose levels of estrogen administered exceed the threshold value, estrogen-dependent cell proliferation will be provoked by transferring the cells in the GO cell-compartment to the proliferating cell-compartment in all or none fashion, and by reducing the Tc value of proliferating cell to 1/2-1/3 of that in the castrated mouse. (4) It is suggested that proliferating cells in the uterine surface epithelium and in the vaginal epithelium turn the cell cycle at a constant Tc value during estrous cycle, and that the tissue growth during estrous cycle is dependent on the size of the proliferating cell-compartment but not on the Tc value. (5) The results obtained from autoradiography of tritiated steroids in the mouse uterus gave a supporting clue to the kinetic data. (+info)