Document Detail

The role of prostaglandins in human parturition.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9677008     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Parturition is the process of giving birth, and the molecular mechanisms involved are still to be elucidated. Among the various factors involved prostaglandins appear to have an important role. They are synthesized within the human fetal membranes (amnion and chorion) and decidua and act to ripen the cervix, change membrane structure and contract the myometrium. Prostaglandin concentrations increase in amniotic fluid prior to myometrial contractions, and the activity of prostaglandin H synthase (PGHS) increases in the chorion laeve and amnion at labour. This increase is due to increased expression of the PGHS-2 isoenzyme rather than the PGHS-1 isoenzyme. In animal pregnancy, there is also an increase in the expression of the PGHS-2 isoenzyme, and in both human and animal pregnancies this increase appears to occur in the fetal tissues rather than in the maternal tissues. Prostaglandin metabolism also plays an important role in altering prostaglandin output by the human fetal membranes. Prostaglandin dehydrogenase (PGDH) activity decreases in certain cases of preterm labour, and at term it decreases in the area of the chorion laeve covering the cervix. This may allow active prostaglandins produced by the amnion and chorion to access the cervix and myometrium. Recent studies have indicated that glucocorticoids may be important in regulating prostaglandin formation within the human fetal membranes by increasing expression of PGHS-2 in the amnion and decreasing PGDH activity in the chorion. Prostaglandin formation is also important in infection-induced preterm labour and both phospholipase and PGHS-2 activities can be increased by various cytokines. Prostaglandins are important for the onset of both term and preterm parturition and their effects may result from changes in prostaglandin synthesis, prostaglandin metabolism and expression of various prostaglandin receptors.
W Gibb
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of medicine     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0785-3890     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. Med.     Publication Date:  1998 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-09-25     Completed Date:  1998-09-25     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8906388     Medline TA:  Ann Med     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  235-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Ottawa, Ont, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Cervix Uteri / physiology
Extraembryonic Membranes / metabolism
Labor, Obstetric / physiology*
Obstetric Labor, Premature / etiology,  physiopathology
Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism
Prostaglandins / biosynthesis,  physiology*
Receptors, Prostaglandin / metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Prostaglandins; 0/Receptors, Prostaglandin; EC Synthases

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