Altered secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor expression in the uterine decidua of tubal compared with intrauterine pregnancy

Donna Dalgetty, J. M. Sallenave, H. O D Critchley, A. R. Williams, W. Y. Tham, A. E. King, A. W. Horne

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    BACKGROUND: The role of the innate immune system in tubal implantation remains undefined. This study compared expression of two key mediators of innate immunity, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) and elafin, in the uterine decidua of women with intrauterine and tubal pregnancies. METHODS: Uterine decidua was collected from women (18-45 years) undergoing surgical termination of pregnancy (n = 7), surgical management of spontaneous abortion (n = 6) and tubal pregnancy (n = 10). Using quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, mRNA and protein expression patterns of SLPI and elafin were compared. RESULTS: Relative SLPI mRNA expression was significantly higher in decidua of women with tubal pregnancy (12.37 ± 2.66) compared with spontaneous abortion (5.09 ± 2.22, P < 0.0185). There was no difference demonstrated in elafin mRNA expression. SLPI and elafin protein expression were demonstrated in the decidual leukocyte populations and epithelium. There was no obvious qualitative difference in levels of SLPI and elafin protein expression or their distribution in the uterine decidua of women with termination of pregnancy, spontaneous abortion or tubal pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: Herein we demonstrate novel differences in gene expression of uterine decidua of tubal pregnancy compared with spontaneous abortion thereby contributing further to current knowledge of mechanisms involved in extrauterine implantation. The altered expression of SLPI may be a consequence of, or predispose to, tubal pregnancy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1485-1490
    Number of pages6
    JournalHuman Reproduction
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


    • Elafin
    • Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor
    • Tubal pregnancy
    • Uterine decidua

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Developmental Biology
    • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    • Reproductive Medicine

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