Immunity is the critical process by which organisms recognize and eliminate foreign antigens, and the process of local immunity in the female reproductive system is regulated by the coordinated integration of the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. The nerves that branch from the inferior mesenteric ganglion (IMG) are a major source of sympathetic nerves, which dominate the immune response of the female reproductive system. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is an important Th1 cytokine and plays an important role in pregnancy. To explore whether or not Th1 cytokines influence the physiological state of the female reproductive system by sympathetic nerve pathways, we used immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR, Western blot and in situ hybridization to detect the expression and distribution of IL-18Rα in the inferior mesenteric ganglion of the female goat. Our results showed that IL-18Rα mRNA and proteins are expressed in the IMG, which provides molecular evidence for the study of immune and neuro-modulation in the female reproductive system.
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