Background: Infection of the Fallopian tubes (FT) by Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ngo) can lead to acute salpingitis, an inflammatory condition resulting in damage primarily to the ciliated cells, with loss of ciliary activity and sloughing of the cells from the epithelium. Recently, we have shown that Ngo infection induced apoptosis in FT epithelium cells by a TNF-α dependent mechanism that could contribute to the cell and tissue damage observed in gonococcal salpingitis. Aim: To investigate the apoptosis-related genes expressed during apoptosis induction in cultured FT epithelial cells infected in vitro by Ngo. Materials and Methods: In the current study, we used cDNA macroarrays and real time PCR to identify and determine the expression levels of apoptosis related genes during the in vitro gonococci infection of FT epithelial cells. Results: Significant apoptosis was induced following infection with Ngo. Macroarray analysis identified the expression of multiple genes of the TNF receptor family (TNFRSF1B, -4, -6, -10A, -10B and -10D) and the Bcl-2 family (BAK1, BAX, BLK, HRK and MCL-1) without differences between controls and infected cells. This lack of difference was confirmed by RT-PCR of BAX, Bcl-2, TNFRS1A (TNFR-I) and TNFRSF1B (TNFR-II). Conclusion: Several genes related to apoptosis are expressed in primary cultures of epithelial cells of the human Fallopian tube. Infection with Ngo induces apoptosis without changes in the pattern of gene expression of several apoptosis-related genes. Results strongly suggest that Ngo regulates apoptosis in the FT by post-transcriptional mechanisms that need to be further addressed.
- Fallopian tube
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)