Expression of membrane prostaglandin E synthase in human placenta and fetal membranes and effect of labor
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Initiation and maintenance of labor in humans is associated with an increase in prostaglandin synthesis by intrauterine tissues. The objective of the present study was to characterize the distribution of membrane-bound PGES (mPGES) protein and mPGES mRNA in human placenta, fetal membranes, and decidua at term and to determine whether any changes occurred with labor. Immunoreactive mPGES was found to be highly concentrated in amnion epithelial cells and the chorion laeve trophoblasts, with lower levels in the mesenchymal layers. The enzyme was at very low levels or undetectable in the decidual tissue. Much lower levels of mPGES protein and mRNA were found in placenta than in fetal membranes. mPGES was associated with the syncytiotrophoblast and in cells surrounding blood vessels. The expression of mPGES mRNA did not change with labor in full membranes or placenta, but Western analysis showed an increase in mPGES protein in chorion laeve and a decrease in mPGES protein in placenta during labor, with no change in the amnion. The differences in expression found among placenta, chorion, and amnion before and after labor would indicate that this enzyme is differentially regulated in these tissues at this time.
Key WordsProstaglandins placenta fetal membranes decidua membrane prostaglandin E synthase labor
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