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Title: Pattern recognition receptor activity at the maternal fetal interface : implications for preterm labour
Author: Bryant, Aled Huws
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 4732
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2014
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Interest in the innate immune response at the maternal-fetal interface has developed due to the association between intrauterine infection, inflammation and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) offer a link between microbial derived agonists and the production of inflammatory mediators by gestation-associated tissues (placenta, choriodecidua and amnion). An improved understanding of these receptors and the signal transduction cascades they initiate in these tissues might explain why some pregnancies are complicated by preterm labour (PTL) and preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) whereas others are only affected by PPROM. However while this may be the eventual aim of this field of study; a greater understanding of PRR expression and activity in term non-laboured tissues is required to provide a baseline comparison for these receptors, in order to determine any potential role they may play in normal term labour but also in preterm labour and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Examination of PRRs in term non-laboured gestation-associated tissues demonstrated the expression of transcripts for Toll-like Receptors (TLRs), NOD-like receptors (NLRs), RIG-l-like Receptors (RLRs) and C-type lectin Receptors (CLRs). A functional role for TLRs 1-7, NOD1, NOD2, RIG-I/MDA5 and Dectin-1 can be inferred by an increase in the production of IL-6 and IL-8 following stimulation with receptor specific agonists. IL-1p production and activation of the caspase-1 and/orcaspase-8 inflammasome was observed in the placenta and choriodecidua in response to fungal β-glucan and bacterial flagellin. The anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4, IL-10 and IL-13 are able to down-regulate the lipopolysaccharide-stimulated cytokine responses by the placenta, choriodecidua and amnion. This highlights the potential utility of these cytokines in preventing preterm birth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available