Journal Article

A20, an essential component of the ubiquitin-editing protein complex, is a negative regulator of inflammation in human myometrium and foetal membranes

Martha Lappas

in MHR: Basic science of reproductive medicine

Published on behalf of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

Volume 23, issue 9, pages 628-645
Published in print September 2017 | ISSN: 1360-9947
Published online August 2017 | e-ISSN: 1460-2407 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gax041
A20, an essential component of the ubiquitin-editing protein complex, is a negative regulator of inflammation in human myometrium and foetal membranes

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Abstract

STUDY QUESTION

Does A20 regulate mediators involved in the terminal processes of human labour in primary myometrial and amnion cells?

SUMMARY ANSWER

A20 is a nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) responsive gene that acts as a negative regulator of NF-κB-induced expression of pro-labour mediators.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY

Inflammation is commonly implicated in spontaneous preterm birth and the processes involved in rupture of foetal membranes and uterine contractions. In myometrium and foetal membranes, the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB regulates the transcription of pro-labour mediators in response to inflammatory stimuli. In non-gestational tissues, A20 is widely recognised as an anti-inflammatory protein that inhibits inflammation-induced NF-κB signalling.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION

Primary human amnion and myometrial cells were used to determine the effect of pro-inflammatory mediators on A20 expression and the effect of A20 siRNA on the expression and secretion of pro-labour mediators. The expression of A20 was assessed in myometrium and foetal membranes from non-labouring and labouring women at preterm and or term (n = 8 or nine samples per group).

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS

The effects of pro-inflammatory mediators and of A20 siRNA in cell cultures were determined by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), western blots, immunoassays, gelatin zymography and luciferase assays. A20 expression in tissue samples was assessed by qRT-PCR. Statistical significance was ascribed to a P value < 0.05.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE

In primary cells isolated from myometrium and or amnion, the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL1B and TNF, the bacterial products flagellin and fsl-1, and the viral double stranded RNA analogue poly(I:C) significantly increased A20 mRNA expression via NF-κB. A20 siRNA studies in primary myometrial and amnion cells demonstrated an augmentation of inflammation-induced expression and or secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL1A, IL6), chemokines (CXCL1, CXCL8, CCL2), adhesion molecules (ICAM1, VCAM1), contraction-associated proteins (PTGS2, PTGFR, PGF) and the extracellular matrix degrading enzyme MMP9, as well as NF-κB activation. Inhibition of NF-κB activity significant attenuated inflammation-induced expression of pro-labour mediators in A20 siRNA transfected cells. Finally, A20 mRNA expression was decreased in myometrium and foetal membranes with labour, and in foetal membranes with chorioamnionitis.

LARGE SCALE DATA

Not applicable.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION

The conclusions of this study are solely reliant on the data from in vitro experiments using cells isolated from myometrium and amnion.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

The results of this study raise the possibility that targeting A20 may be a therapeutic approach to reduce inflammation associated with spontaneous preterm birth.

STUDY FUNDING AND COMPETING INTEREST(S)

Associate Professor Martha Lappas is supported by a Career Development Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; grant no. 1047025). Funding for this study was provided by the NHMRC (grant no. 1058786), Norman Beischer Medical Research Foundation and the Mercy Research Foundation. There are no competing interests.

Keywords: A20; myometrium; foetal membranes; pro-labour mediators; inflammation; preterm birth

Journal Article.  9156 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Reproductive Medicine

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