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Ovine trophoblasts express cathelicidin host defence peptide in response to infection

Coyle, Christopher; Wheelhouse, Nick; Jacques, Maxime; Longbottom, David; Svoboda, Pavel; Pohl, Jan; Colin Duncan, W; Rae, Michael T; Barlow, Peter G


Christopher Coyle

Maxime Jacques

David Longbottom

Pavel Svoboda

Jan Pohl

W Colin Duncan


Cationic host defence peptides (CHDP; also known as antimicrobial peptides) are key components of the immune response in the female reproductive tract. The role of the placental trophoblast in ovine host defence remains poorly understood. This study characterises expression of genes for cathelicidin and defensin peptides in primary ovine placental tissues, the ovine trophoblast cell line (AH-1) and in response to the TLR-4 ligand LPS, the abortifacient organism Waddlia chondrophila and 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Using RT-PCR, expression of the CHDP SMAP-29, sBD-1 and sBD-2 was assessed in the AH-1 cell line in response to LPS, 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 exposure (a known stimulator of cathelicidin gene expression), or W. chondrophila infection. Expression of cathelicidin in the trophoblast compartment of the ovine placenta and in the ovine trophoblast cell line (AH-1) was also established. AH-1 cells did not upregulate expression of CHDP in response to LPS, but sBD-1 and sBD-2 expression was significantly increased in response to W. chondrophila infection. SMAP-29 expression was not altered by in vitro exposure to 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. This study demonstrates that the ovine trophoblast expresses cathelicidins, but does not upregulate expression of CHDP in response to LPS. Ovine trophoblasts are shown to differentially regulate expression of CHDP and lack a demonstrable vitamin D-mediated cathelicidin response.


Coyle, C., Wheelhouse, N., Jacques, M., Longbottom, D., Svoboda, P., Pohl, J., …Barlow, P. G. (2016). Ovine trophoblasts express cathelicidin host defence peptide in response to infection. Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 117, 10-16.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 17, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 21, 2016
Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 3, 2019
Journal Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Print ISSN 0165-0378
Electronic ISSN 1872-7603
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 117
Pages 10-16
Keywords Chlamydia-related organisms; Waddlia; Cathelicidin; Defensin; Antimicrobial peptide; Trophoblast
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