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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 785825, 9 pages
Research Article

Toll-Like Receptor Transcriptome in the HPV-Positive Cervical Cancer Microenvironment

1Probe Development and Biomarker Exploration Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada P7B 6V4
2Biorefining Research Initiative and Department of Biology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada P7B 5E1
3Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Department of Pathology, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada P7B 6V4

Received 12 May 2011; Accepted 6 July 2011

Academic Editor: Ludovica Segat

Copyright © 2012 Correne A. DeCarlo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The human papillomavirus (HPV) directly infects cervical keratinocytes and interferes with TLR signalling. To shed light on the effect of HPV on upstream receptors, we evaluated TLRs 1–9 gene expression in HPV-negative normal and HPV-positive pre-malignant and malignant ex vivo cervical tissue. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed separately for epithelial and stromal tissue compartments. Differences in gene expression were analyzed by the Jonckheere-Terpstra trend test or the Student's t-test for pairwise comparison. Laser capture microdissection revealed an increase in TLR3 and a decrease in TLR1 mRNA levels in dysplastic and carcinoma epithelium, respectively. In the stroma, a trend of increasing TLR 1, 2, 5, 6, and 9 mRNA levels with disease severity was found. These findings implicate the involvement of TLR3 and TLR1 in early and late cervical carcinogenesis, respectively, suggesting that stromal upregulation of TLRs may play a role in cervical disease progression.