Activation of toll-like receptors 2 or 3 and preterm delivery in the mouse

Reprod Sci. 2007 May;14(4):315-20. doi: 10.1177/1933719107302959.


The objective of this study is to test whether the activation of toll-like receptors (TLRs) 2 and 3 (innate immune receptors for gram-positive and viral pathogens, respectively) can induce preterm delivery. One uterine horn of preterm pregnant CD-1 mice at approximately 75% of gestation was injected with TLR-2 ligands (lipoteichoic acid [LTA] or peptidoglycan [PGN]) or the TLR-3 ligand polyinosinic:cytidylic acid (poly[I:C]). Preterm delivery was recorded. In a separate group of mice, tissue mRNAs were quantified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction 5 hours after treatment with PGN or poly(I:C). Intrauterine PGN and LTA induced preterm delivery, reaching 100% at maximal doses. Intraperitoneal PGN also induced preterm delivery but at lower rates (maximum = 55%). Intrauterine poly(I:C) induced preterm birth in up to 31% of mice. Poly(I:C) induced uterine interferon beta and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5, also known as RANTES) but not interleukin 1beta, tumor necrosis factor, or lipopolysaccharide-induced CXC chemokine. PGN did not alter these mRNAs when compared with saline. Neither treatment induced gene expression in fetal membranes. Activation of either TLR-2 or -3 can induce preterm delivery in the mouse. Activation of TLR-3 with poly(I:C) induces interferon beta and the chemokine CCL5 in uterine tissues but not in fetal membranes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Peptidoglycan / pharmacology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Teichoic Acids / pharmacology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / genetics*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 3 / genetics*


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Peptidoglycan
  • TLR3 protein, mouse
  • Teichoic Acids
  • Tlr2 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Toll-Like Receptor 3
  • lipoteichoic acid