Medroxyprogesterone acetate (
MPA), a progestin‐based hormonal contraceptive designed to mimic progesterone, has been linked to increased human immunodeficiency virus ( HIV‐1) susceptibility. Genital epithelial cells ( GECs) form the mucosal lining of the female genital tract ( FGT) and provide the first line of protection against HIV‐1. The impact of endogenous sex hormones or MPAon the gene expression profile of GECs has not been comprehensively documented. Method of study
Using microarray analysis, we characterized the transcriptional profile of primary endometrial epithelial cells grown in physiological levels of E2, P4, and
Each hormone treatment altered the gene expression profile of
GECs in a unique manner. Interestingly, although MPAis a progestogen, the gene expression profile induced by it was distinct from P4. MPAincreased gene expression of genes related to inflammation and cholesterol synthesis linked to innate immunity and HIV‐1 susceptibility. Conclusion
The analysis of gene expression profiles provides insights into the effects of sex hormones and
MPAon GECs and allows us to posit possible mechanisms of the MPA‐mediated increase in HIV‐1 acquisition.