Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To Contract Or Not: A Key Question For The Uterine Muscles In Pregnancy

Date:
December 11, 2008
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
During pregnancy, the muscles of the uterus are relatively inactive. A switch to an activated state capable of strong contractions is therefore essential prior to the onset of labor. New research provides insight into the events that prime the uterine muscles for contraction, something the investigators hope might have implications for the development of therapies for preterm labor (i.e., labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy), the most serious complication of pregnancy in developed countries.

During pregnancy, the muscles of the uterus are relatively inactive. A switch to an activated state capable of strong contractions is therefore essential prior to the onset of labor.

Related Articles


Kathleen Martin and colleagues, at Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, have now provided new insight into the events that prime the uterine muscles for contraction, something that they hope might have implications for the development of therapies for preterm labor (i.e., labor that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy), the most serious complication of pregnancy in developed countries.

In the study, when the protein IP on the surface of muscle cells in human uterine tissue strips obtained from pregnant women undergoing Caesarean delivery prior to the onset of natural labor was stimulated by agonist chemicals, it induced the upregulation of proteins involved in muscle contraction. Further, the same chemicals increased the contraction of these tissue strips in response to the hormone oxytocin.

The authors therefore conclude that the molecule that normally binds IP in vivo, prostacyclin, primes the muscles in the human uterus, allowing for strong contractions during labor.

As Michael Taggart, at Newcastle University, United Kingdom, and colleagues discuss in an accompanying commentary, these data might be viewed by many as contentious, because prostacyclin is a smooth muscle relaxant. However, they do provide an explanation for the paradoxical observation that one of the major signaling molecules produced by the uterus just prior to labor is prostacyclin.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Fetalvero et al. Prostacyclin primes pregnant human myometrium for an enhanced contractile response in parturition. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2008; DOI: 10.1172/JCI33800
  2. Taggart et al. Possible dual roles for prostacyclin in human pregnancy and labor. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2008; DOI: 10.1172/JCI37785

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "To Contract Or Not: A Key Question For The Uterine Muscles In Pregnancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120171321.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2008, December 11). To Contract Or Not: A Key Question For The Uterine Muscles In Pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120171321.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "To Contract Or Not: A Key Question For The Uterine Muscles In Pregnancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120171321.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins