Chorioamnionitis is an acute inflammation of the gestational (extraplacental) membranes, most commonly caused by ascending microbial infection. It is associated with adverse neonatal outcomes including preterm birth, neonatal sepsis, and cerebral palsy. The decidua is the outermost layer of the gestational membranes and is likely an important initial site of contact with microbes during ascending infection. However, little is known about how decidual stromal cells (DSCs) respond to microbial threat. Defining the contributions of individual cell types to the complex medley of inflammatory signals during chorioamnionitis could lead to improved interventions aimed at halting this disease. We review available published data supporting the role for DSCs in responding to microbial infection, with a special focus on their expression of pattern recognition receptors and evidence of their responsiveness to pathogen sensing. While DSCs likely play an important role in sensing and responding to infection during the pathogenesis of chorioamnionitis, important knowledge gaps and areas for future research are highlighted.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.