Innate mucosal immune responses, including recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns through Toll-like receptors, play an important role in preventing infection in the female reproductive tract (FRT). Damaged cells release nucleotides, including ATP and uridine 5′-diphosphoglucose (UDP-glucose), during inflammation and mechanical stress. We show in this report that P2RY14, a membrane receptor for UDP-glucose, is exclusively expressed in the epithelium, but not the stroma, of the FRT in humans and mice. P2RY14 and several proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-8, are up-regulated in the endometria of patients with pelvic inflammatory disease. UDP-glucose stimulated IL-8 production via P2RY14 in human endometrial epithelial cells but not stromal cells. Furthermore, UDP-glucose enhanced neutrophil chemotaxis in the presence of a human endometrial epithelial cell line in an IL-8-dependent manner. Administration of UDP-glucose into the mouse uterus induced expression of macrophage inflammatory protein-2 and keratinocyte-derived cytokine, two murine chemokines that are functional homologues of IL-8, and augmented endometrial neutrophil recruitment. Reduced expression of P2RY14 by small interfering RNA gene silencing attenuated LPS- or UDP-glucose-induced leukocytosis in the mouse uterus. These results suggest that UDP-glucose and its receptor P2RY14 are key front line players able to trigger innate mucosal immune responses in the FRT bypassing the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. Our findings would significantly impact the strategic design of therapies to modulate mucosal immunity by targeting P2RY14.
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