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Human β-Defensin Messenger RNA is Overexpressed in the Cervical Epithelia of Patients With Nongonococcal Cervicitis

Meng, Wei MD1; Du, Rong MD1; Wang, Yanjiao MD2; Chen, Zhifang MD1; Ding, Yan MD1

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: October 2013 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 440–445
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e318281f1a0
Original Articles

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.

Overexpression of human β-defensins 2/3 is detected in patients with nongonococcal cervicitis and can be inhibited after the elimination of pathogens.

1Department of Gynecology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University; and 2Department of Biochemistry, Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China

Reprint requests to: Yan Ding, MD, Department of Gynecology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, 137 Liyushan Rd South, Urumqi 830054, Xinjiang, China. E-mail:

This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (#81101555).

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology