The molecular mechanisms of cervical ripening differ between term and preterm birth

Roxane Holt, Brenda C. Timmons, Yucel Akgul, Meredith L. Akins, Mala Mahendroo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the current study, the mechanisms of premature cervical ripening in murine models of preterm birth resulting from infection or early progesterone withdrawal were compared with the process of term cervical ripening. Tissue morphology, weight, gene expression, and collagen content along with immune cell populations were evaluated. Premature ripening induced by the progesterone receptor antagonist mifepristone results from an acceleration of processes in place during term ripening as well as partial activation of proinflammatory and immunosuppressive processes observed during postpartum repair. In contrast to term or mifepristone-induced preterm ripening, premature ripening induced in an infection model occurs by a distinct mechanism which is dominated by an influx of neutrophils into the cervix, a robust proinflammatory response and increased expression of prostaglandin-cyclooxygenase-endoperoxide synthase 2, important in prostaglandin biosynthesis. Key findings from this study confirm that cervical ripening can be initiated by more than one mechanism and is not necessarily an acceleration of the physiologic process at term. These results will influence current strategies for identifying specific etiologies of preterm birth and developing subsequent therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1046
Number of pages11
JournalEndocrinology
Volume152
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Fingerprint

Cervical Ripening
Term Birth
Premature Birth
Mifepristone
Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
Progesterone Receptors
Immunosuppressive Agents
Infection
Cervix Uteri
Postpartum Period
Prostaglandins
Progesterone
Neutrophils
Collagen
Gene Expression
Weights and Measures
Population
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this

The molecular mechanisms of cervical ripening differ between term and preterm birth. / Holt, Roxane; Timmons, Brenda C.; Akgul, Yucel; Akins, Meredith L.; Mahendroo, Mala.

In: Endocrinology, Vol. 152, No. 3, 03.2011, p. 1036-1046.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Holt, Roxane ; Timmons, Brenda C. ; Akgul, Yucel ; Akins, Meredith L. ; Mahendroo, Mala. / The molecular mechanisms of cervical ripening differ between term and preterm birth. In: Endocrinology. 2011 ; Vol. 152, No. 3. pp. 1036-1046.
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