Estrogen inhibits interleukin-18 mRNA expression in the mouse uterus

Yousuke Murakami, Mariko Otsuki, Kenji Kusumoto, Sakae Takeuchi, Sumio Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a proinflammatory cytokine expressed in female reproductive organs in humans, rats and mice. The physiological roles of uterine IL-18 and the regulatory mechanisms of IL-18 gene expression are unclear. The present study aimed to clarify the effects of estradiol-17β(E2) and progesterone (P4) on IL-18 mRNA expression in the mouse uterus. Distribution and expression levels of IL-18 mRNA were studied using an RNase protection assay. Expression of IL-18 mRNA was observed in all organs studied, including testes, ovaries and uteri. The uterine IL-18 mRNA level of estrous mice was higher than that of diestrous mice. E2 treatment (1, 5, 25 or 250 ng/ mouse) decreased uterine IL-18 mRNA levels in ovariectomized mice dose-dependently. E2 treatment acutely decreased IL-18 mRNA levels 3 h after injection, but these levels returned to the initial level after 48 h. P4 treatment (1 mg/mouse) decreased uterine IL-18 mRNA levels after 12 h, but levels returned to the initial level after 48 h. Both uterine IL-18 and IL-18Rα mRNAs were detected in cultured endometrial epithelial and stromal cells. These results suggest that uterine IL-18 expression is reduced by sex steroid hormones and that IL-18 acts on endometrial cells in a paracrine or autocrine manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-647
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2005



  • Estrogen
  • Interleukin-18
  • Progestin
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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