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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Viral infections of the epididymis are associated with epididymitis, which damages the epithelium and impairs fertility. We showed previously that innate immune response genes were differentially expressed in the corpus and cauda region of the human epididymis in comparison to the caput. Here we investigate the antiviral defense response mechanisms of human epididymis epithelial (HEE) cells. Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 and retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs) are enriched in HEE cells from the corpus and cauda region. These HEE cells show an enhanced response to antiviral ligands (poly(I:C) and HSV-60), as shown by increased IFN-β mRNA expression and IFN-β secretion. Nuclear translocation of phosphorylated p65 occurs after poly(I:C) exposure. In addition, paired box 2 (PAX2), which was implicated in regulating antiviral response pathways, is required for basal expression of the DNA sensor, Z-DNA binding protein (ZBP1) and type I interferon, in caput but not in cauda cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology

Publication Date





72 - 78