Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How progesterone prevents preterm birth

Date:
February 6, 2010
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Researchers believe they may have discovered how the hormone progesterone acts to prevent preterm birth.

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine believe they may have discovered how the hormone progesterone acts to prevent preterm birth.

The findings will be presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) in Chicago by Errol Norwitz, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale.

Preterm birth -- delivery prior to 37 weeks gestation -- has become increasingly common over the past 40 years. Currently, one in eight pregnancies in the U.S. are delivered prematurely. These premature infants are at least seven times more likely to die or have long-term neurologic injury compared with infants delivered at term. Efforts to date to prevent preterm birth have been largely unsuccessful. Several recent studies have suggested that progesterone supplementation from weeks 16-20 of gestation through 36 weeks may prevent preterm birth in about one-third of high-risk women, but the molecular mechanism by which progesterone acts was not known until now.

One-third of preterm birth is linked to premature rupture of the fetal membranes. Prior studies have suggested that rupture results from weakening of the membranes by apoptosis (programmed cell death). Norwitz and his Yale colleagues have shown for the first time that progesterone can prevent apoptosis in fetal membranes.

"We were able to demonstrate that progesterone prevents apoptosis in an artificial environment in the laboratory in which we stimulated healthy fetal membranes with pro-inflammatory mediators," said Norwitz. "Interestingly, and somewhat unexpectedly, we also saw an inhibition of apoptosis under basal conditions without the presence of pro-inflammatory mediators. This suggests that the same mechanism may also be important for the normal onset of labor at term."

Co-authors on the study include Yale researchers Guoyang Luo, M.D., Vikki M. Abrahams, Serkaiem Tadesse, Edmund F. Funai, M.D., and Eric J. Hodgson, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "How progesterone prevents preterm birth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100205081823.htm>.
Yale University. (2010, February 6). How progesterone prevents preterm birth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100205081823.htm
Yale University. "How progesterone prevents preterm birth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100205081823.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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