Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Yale researchers may have uncovered the mechanism by which progesterone prevents preterm birth

05.02.2010
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.

Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>