Amnionic Association with Chorion and Prostaglandin E2 Production before and after Labor

  • John A. McCoshen
Part of the Trophoblast Research book series (TR)


Myometrial contractions and cervical ripening associated with the spontaneous initiation of labor appear to be related to alterations in production and metabolism of a variety of prostaglandins by intrauterine tissues (Embrey, 1969; Karim et al., 1969; Karim, 1975; Shepherd, 1976; and Wingerup et al., 1978). Furthermore, while temporal changes in steroidogenesis by both mother and fetus may be involved in the natural termination of pregnancy via prostaglandins (Blocke et al., 1984; KhanDawood and Dawood, 1984; and Mitchell et al., 1982), much attention is now being focused on other possible factors as controlling agents of labor-related prostaglandin synthesis. Specifically, the fetal membranes and decidualized endometrium of pregnancy are suspected important elements in the complex process of labor. Both inhibitory and stimulatory factors of prostaglandin production by amnion have been identified in amniotic fluid, amnionic, chorionic, and decidual tissues (Karim, 1975; Mitchell et al., 1984; Rhenstrom et al., 1983; and Saeed and Mithcell, 1982). Suggestions that the fetal kidney contributes to the amniotic fluid pool of prostaglandins via fetal urine have been proposed (Casey et al., 1983) as well as evidence that fetal urine contains a factor(s) stimulatory to fetal membrane prostaglandin production and the initiation of labor (Strickland et al., 1983). Thus, the hypothesis that the fetus is instrumental in initiating the onset of labor and delivery may have credence in view of the propensity of fetal membranes to produce high concentrations of a variety of prostaglandins. Furthermore, amnionic cells obtained after spontaneous labor onset and vaginal delivery produce more prostaglandins as compared to cells obtained prior to labor (Olson et al., 1983). During the course of labor, amniotic fluid prostaglandins E2 and F2a substantially increase in concentration (Manabe et al., 1983; Nieder and Augustin, 1983).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. McCoshen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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