Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Microbiology & Immunology

First Advisor

Sinem Sahingur


Increasing evidence implicates the presence of bacteria in intrauterine tissues as an important risk factor for spontaneous preterm labor. Epigenetic alterations of innate immunity genes may increase the mother’s sensitivity to subclinical levels of bacteria. This study examined the presence of TET2, TLR-2, and TLR-9 in intrauterine tissue, and evaluated whether epigenetic alterations of these genes, as well as IL-8, changed their expression in human decidual tissue and a macrophage cell culture. Immunohistochemicalstaining was used to detect the presence of these proteins in intrauterine tissue. Gene expression changes were evaluated in stimulated monocytes and macrophages. Fluorescence immunohistochemistry was used to track translocation of TET2 in stimulated monocytes and macrophages. Secreted IL-8 concentration was detected with ELISA. Decidual expression of TET2, TLR-2, and TLR-9 increased in the order TNL < TL < sPTL < iPTL. This study found that TET2, TLR-2, TLR-9, and IL-8 are regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. This study was the first to report activation of TET2 involves its translocation from the cytosol to the nucleus in macrophages.


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