Toll-like receptor expression patterns in the rat uterus during post partum involution

Alan E. , Liman N.

REPRODUCTION FERTILITY AND DEVELOPMENT, vol.30, pp.330-348, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1071/rd16431
  • Page Numbers: pp.330-348


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) belong to a family of pathogen recognition receptors and play critical roles in detecting and responding to invading pathogens. TLR expression could be significant because, in the uterus, the reproductive tract is an important site of exposure to and infection by pathogens during the post partum involution period. To clarify the expression and localisation patterns of TLRs in the rat uterus on Days 1, 3, 5 and 10 post partum (PP1, PP3, PP5 and PP10 respectively), immunohistochemistry and western blotting were used to analyse TLR1-7, TLR9 and TLR10. The immunohistochemistry results indicated that TLR1-7, TLR9 and TLR10 were localised in both the cytoplasm and nuclei of luminal and glandular epithelium, stromal fibroblasts and myometrial cells in the rat uterus. In the luminal epithelium, TLR4-7 were also found in lateral membranes, whereas TLR10 was present in apical membranes. Western blot analysis revealed that the expression of TLR proteins increased with the number of days post partum, reaching a maximum on PP10, although levels did not differ significantly from those on PP1 (P>0.05). These findings confirm that TLR1-7, TLR9 and TLR10 are constitutively expressed in uterine cells and that localisation pattern of TLRs in the endometrium varies with structural changes in the uterus on different days of involution. These results suggest that TLRs may play a role in uterine repair and remodelling during physiological involution.