• Garg M, Potter JA, Abrahams VM. (2013) Identification of microRNAs That Regulate TLR2-Mediated Trophoblast Apoptosis and Inhibition of IL-6 mRNA. PLoS ONE 8(10),

While infection-induced placental inflammation is a common mechanism of adverse pregnancy outcome, some pathogens can also trigger placental apoptosis, and Toll-like receptors (TLRs) mediate this response. Treatment of human first trimester trophoblast cells with bacterial peptidoglycan (PDG) reduces their constitutive secretion of IL-6 protein and induces apoptosis. This apoptotic response is dependent upon the cell’s expression of TLR1, TLR2 and TLR10, and their lack of TLR6, such that ectopic expression of TLR6 prevents PDG-induced apoptosis and restores IL-6 production. In this current study we have identified three microRNAs (miRs) that regulate TLR2-mediated responses in the human trophoblast. Herein we report that miR-329 plays a pivotal role in mediating PDG-induced trophoblast apoptosis and inhibition of IL-6 mRNA expression by targeting the NF-κB subunit, p65. TLR2 activation by PDG upregulates miR-329 expression and inhibits NF-κB p65 and IL-6 mRNA, and this is reversed by the presence of TLR6. Moreover, inhibition of miR-329 prevents PDG-induced inhibition of NF-κB p65 and IL-6 mRNA expression, and restores cell survival. In addition, we have found miR-23a and let-7c to directly regulate PDG-mediated inhibition of IL-6 mRNA. TLR2 activation by PDG upregulates miR23a and let-7c expression and this is reversed by the presence of TLR6. Furthermore, inhibition of both miR23a and let-7c prevents PDG-inhibition of trophoblast IL-6 mRNA expression. Together, our findings suggest that multiple miRs are involved in the molecular regulation of TLR2-mediated responses in the trophoblast towards gram-positive bacterial components.

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