Objective: Human β-defensin (hBD) is an innate immune mediator present in the mucosae. This study aimed to investigate whether hBD is implicated in nongonococcal cervicitis (NGC).
Materials and Methods: Seventy-two patients with NGC and 64 healthy volunteers were consecutively enrolled between April 2010 and May 2011. Sensitive antimicrobial treatment was assigned to patients with NGC. Cervical tissues were sampled for the semiquantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction analyses of hBD-1, hBD-2, and hBD-3 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression.
Results: The hBD-1, hBD-2, and hBD-3 mRNAs were comparably expressed in normal cervical tissues. The expression of hBD-1 mRNA was similar between patients with NGC and control subjects, whereas those of hBD-2 and hBD-3 mRNAs were significantly up-regulated in patients with NGC (1.25 [0.38] vs 1.08 [0.31], p = .005; 1.26 [0.35] vs 1.04 [0.30], p < .001). The relative expression level of hBD-1 mRNA remained unchanged in pathogen-eliminated patients, whereas those of hBD-2 mRNA (1.33 [0.42] vs 1.04 [0.36], p = .012) and hBD-3 mRNA (1.23 [0.32] vs 1.13 [0.26], p = .009) decreased significantly after the successful antimicrobial treatment.
Conclusions: Expressions of hBD-2 and hBD-3 mRNA are up-regulated in NGC, suggesting the role of mucosal immunity in NGC.