Mildner1, M., Abtin1, A., Gmeiner1, R., Sam1, C., Gläser2, R., Schröder2, J-M., Mlitz1, V., Stichenwirth1, M., Pammer1, J., Geusau1, A., Tschachler1, E. 1Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria 2University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany.

This study by researchers at the Medical University of Vienna and University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein demonstrated that MatTek’s EpiVaginal in vitro 3-D human cervico-vaginal tissue equivalent can be used to confirm psoriasin expression when the tissue was exposed to IL-1alpha and to secreted components of E. coli. Psoriasin has been shown to be the major Escherichia coli-killing antimicrobial peptide in the skin. Here researchers investigated the expression and regulation of psoriasin in mucous epithelia of the female genital tract. Multilayered vaginal epithelium, but not single layered cervical epithelium, strongly expressed psoriasin as determined by immunohistochemistry. When vaginal fluids obtained by lavage with 2 ml physiological NaCl-solutions from healthy donors were analyzed by Western blot and ELISA, we detected up to 2 ìg/ml secreted psoriasin. Using an in vitro 3D-model of human vaginal epithelium obtained from MatTek Corporation (EpiVaginal™), we could show that exposure of this model to IL-1alpha, as well as to secreted components of E. coli, strongly induced psoriasin expression. Finally, researchers could show that vaginal fluids potently killed E. coli and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in an anti-microbial activity assay system. Taken together these data show the high potency of the vaginal fluid in anti-microbial defense. Furthermore the intra-vaginal high amount of psoriasin implicates an important role of this antimicrobial peptide in the innate immune response of the female genital tract.


Antimicrobial activity, Antimicrobial peptide, E. coli, EpiVaginal, Female genital tract, Innate immune response, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Psoriasin, VEC-100

Materials Tested

IL-1 alpha, Lavage, Vaginal fluids

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