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Endometrial epithelium plays a crucial role in the first immune response to invading bacteria by producing cytokines and chemokines. The aim of this study was to investigate the first inflammatory response of the endometrium in vivo and in vitro. Gene expression of several pro-inflammatory factors and Toll-like receptors (TLR2, -4, -6) was determined in endometrial cytobrush samples obtained from healthy cows and cows with clinical or subclinical endometritis. Endometrial epithelial cells were co-cultured with an isolated autochthonous uterine bacterial strain Bacillus pumilus. Total RNA was extracted from in vivo and in vitro samples and subjected to real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. CXC ligands (CXCL) 1/2 and CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR) 2 mRNA expression was higher in cows with subclinical endometritis and CXCL3 mRNA expression was higher in cows with clinical endometritis compared with healthy cows. B. pumilus induced cell death of epithelial cells within 24h of co-culturing. The presence of B. pumilus resulted in significantly higher mRNA expression of interleukin 1? (IL1A), IL6, IL8, CXCL1-3 and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 in co-cultured cells compared with untreated controls. The maximum increase was mainly detected after 2h. These results support the hypothesis that bacterial infection of endometrial cells might induce prompt synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines resulting in a local inflammatory reaction.