Dendritic cell activation and maturation induced by mucosal fluid from women with bacterial vaginosis

Elizabeth P. St. John, Jeff Martinson, Jose A. Simoes, Alan L. Landay, Gregory T. Spear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Dendritic cells (DC) at mucosal surfaces mature when exposed to "danger" signals such as LPS. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a prevalent alteration of the vaginal bacterial flora associated with preterm childbirth and increased risk for HIV acquisition. We examined the effect of mucosal fluid from women with BV or healthy flora on DC function. IL-12, IL-23 and p40 production by monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC) were all induced by BV samples. Activation/maturation markers HLA-DR, CD40 and CD83 on MDDC incubated with BV CVL were also induced. BV CVL also decreased the endocytic ability of MDDC and increased proliferation of T cells in allogeneic MLR. Plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) CD86 expression was induced by BV CVL. Healthy flora CVL had little effect in any of the tests. This study suggests that BV, but not healthy flora, affects local dendritic cell function in vivo suggesting a mechanism through which BV affects mucosal immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Activation
  • Antigen presentation
  • Bacterial flora
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Endocytosis
  • IL-12
  • Maturation
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Myeloid dendritic cells
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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