Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered a way to inhibit a biochemical process that accompanies labor and to postpone delivery for one to two days in pregnant mice.
"Since the biochemical steps associated with labor are likely the same in both mice and humans, a similar treatment might someday help prevent pre-term labor in women," said Dr. Carole Mendelson, professor of biochemistry and obstetrics and gynecology and senior author of the study, published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers administered the drug trichostatin A, which affects the function of receptors for progesterone, a hormone that prevents the uterus from contracting throughout most of pregnancy. The drug effectively delayed the start of labor by allowing progesterone to continue functioning. The postponement of labor was significant because mice have a gestation period of only 19 days.
Amy Shields | EurekAlert!
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