Expression and function of NOD-like receptors by human term gestation-associated tissues

Aled Bryant, Ryan Bevan, Samantha Spencer-Harty, Louis Scott, Ruth Jones, Catherine Thornton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors or NOD-like receptors (NLRs) have been implicated in several disease pathologies associated with inflammation. Since local and systemic inflammation is a hallmark of both term and preterm labour, a role for NLRs at the materno-fetal interface has been postulated.

Gene expression and immunolocalisation of NLR family members in human placenta, choriodecidua, and amnion were examined. Tissue explants were used to examine the response to activators of NOD1 (Tri-DAP), NOD2 (MDP) and NLRP3 (nigericin). Cell/tissue-free supernatants were examined for the production of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 using specific ELISAs.

Expression of transcripts for NOD1, NOD2, NLRP3, NLRC4, NLRX1, NLRP1 and NAIP and protein expression of NOD1, NOD2 and NLRP3 were a broad feature of all term gestation-associated tissues. Production of cytokines was increased significantly in response to all ligands in placenta and choriodecidua, except for MDP-induced IL-10. Similarly, there was a significant in the amnion except for MDP induced IL-1β and IL-10 response to either agonist. IL-1β production was dependent on caspase-1 regardless of agonist used or tissue examined.

Term human gestation-associated tissues express functional NLRs which likely play a role in both sterile and pathogen-driven inflammatory responses at the materno-fetal interface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Early online date2 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Inflammation
  • Reproductive Immunology
  • Nod-Like Receptors


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