Highlights From the Society for Gynecologic Investigation 51st Annual Meeting

John F. Randolph, Jr, MD


April 18, 2003

In This Article

Potential Role for Inflammation in the Initiation of Preterm Labor

Rita Leite from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia presented her work on the potential role for inflammation in the initiation of preterm labor. She showed that progesterone acts through progesterone receptor B (PR-B) rather than PR-A or PR-C in myometrial cells and that the effect of progesterone was decreased by as much as 60% by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), a common and potent inflammatory cytokine. This suggests that infection, the presumed major cause of preterm labor, may work through TNF alpha to decrease the relaxing effect of progesterone on myometrium and initiate preterm labor. It also suggests a potential pathway to target for the prevention of preterm birth.


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