Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UT Southwestern researchers discover method of postponing labor in mice

29.07.2003


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.



In humans, progesterone and its receptors are maintained at elevated levels in the uterus throughout pregnancy and after labor begins.

"We postulated that labor is caused by a number of factors that prevent progesterone from continuing to act to maintain uterine quiescence," Dr. Mendelson said.

In this study, the researchers analyzed a group of proteins -- called co-activators -- that allows progesterone receptors to function. They examined tissues taken from the uteruses of women in labor (undergoing Caesarean section) and those not in labor.

"We found that certain co-activators decrease very markedly in labor," she said. "We then extended our research to animal models because we wanted to look at the changes that occur throughout pregnancy. We chose to use the mouse, which we found to manifest the same types of changes in these activators at the end of pregnancy and during labor as humans."

Co-activators have the capacity to alter chromatin structure around progesterone-responsive genes by increasing the acetylation of histones. The genes are active when the histones are acetylated and chromatin – the genetic material of the nucleus – is open to progesterone receptors, said Dr. Mendelson.

"At the end of pregnancy and during the beginning of labor in mice and humans, there is a marked decrease in the acetylation of histones. This causes the chromatin structure to become closed, so the receptors can’t act properly," she said.

The researchers administered trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, to pregnant mice late in gestation. This increased histone acetylation in the uterus and prevented pre-term labor.

"We were able to keep the chromatin ’open’ so the progesterone receptors could continue to function," said Dr. Mendelson.

The researcher said the discovery could be of use in preventing pre-term labor in women.

"Since pre-term birth – which can have devastating immediate and lifelong consequences – affects more than 460,000 infants in the United States each year, our findings could impact the care of pregnant women and the well-being of their babies in the future," Dr. Mendelson said.

Amy Shields | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://lists.utsouthwestern.edu/mailman/listinfo/utswnews

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>