In women, Chlamydia trachomatis can ascend from the cervix to the fallopian tubes, where an overly aggressive host inflammatory response can cause scarring that leads to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. Although screening and treatment programs for women have resulted in decreased rates of sequelae, morbidities associated with oviduct scarring continue to occur. Since corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects, we tested the ability of dexamethasone to inhibit inflammation and prevent oviduct scarring in mice genitally infected with Chlamydia muridarum. The administration of 1 or 2.5 mg/kg of body weight of dexamethasone on days 7 to 21 of infection resulted in reduced accumulation of inflammatory cells in the oviducts compared to that in controls. However, a concomitant increase in bacterial burden was observed, and chronic oviduct disease was not reduced. Adjunctive administration of a prolonged (21-day) or short (3-day) course of dexamethasone in combination with the antibiotic doxycycline also failed to reduce chronic oviduct pathology compared to antibiotic treatment alone. Steroids administered alone or adjunctively with antibiotics failed to prevent oviduct damage in this murine model of C. trachomatis infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Microbiology (medical)