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Molecular Pathways regulating contractility in rat uterus through late gestation and parturition

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael TaggartORCiD


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Objective: Endogenous uterine agonists can activate numerous signaling pathways to effect increased force. Our objective was to assess expression of key constituents of these pathways, in alliance with contractile function, through late gestation and during term and preterm labor. Study Design: Using myography, we measured the response to three agonists compared to depolarization alone (K+, 124 mM) and calculated agonist/depolarization ratio (ADR). We measured gene expression using qRT-PCR. Results: Contractile responsiveness to depolarization alone, oxytocin or endothelin-1 increased during pregnancy compared to non-pregnant animals. ADR did not change during uterine activation or parturition. Inhibition of ROK decreased responses to OT in all tissues but significantly more during uterine activation. Expression of rhoA and ROK was increased significantly in active labor at term or preterm. Conclusions: The rhoA/ROK pathway is a key regulator of uterine activation during labor and may be a useful target for prevention of spontaneous preterm birth.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Taggart MJ, Arthur P, Zielnik B, Mitchell BF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Year: 2012

Volume: 207

Issue: 1

Pages: 76.e15-76.e24

Print publication date: 08/05/2012

ISSN (print): 0002-9378

ISSN (electronic): 1097-6868

Publisher: Mosby, Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.04.036


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