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Interleukin-8 is involved in cervical dilatation but not in prelabour cervical ripening

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Yoshiharu Sakamoto, Dr Roger Searle, Dr Judith Bulmer, Professor Steve RobsonORCiD


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Our aim was to determine the amount and source of interleukin (IL)-8 and to study IL-8 receptor expression in the human cervix during pregnancy and after labour. Cervical biopsies were obtained from six non-pregnant women, eight women undergoing pregnancy termination, 17 women undergoing elective caesarean section and 11 women after vaginal delivery. IL-8 levels were compared in women with and without a ripe cervix, as determined by cervical Bishop score and cervicovaginal fetal fibronectin levels. Levels of IL-8 and IL-1β, a regulator of IL-8 expression, were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). IL-8, IL-1β and IL-8 receptor proteins were localized by immunohistochemistry. Compared with late pregnancy, IL-8 levels increased after labour and vaginal delivery (P < 0.01) but there was no correlation with cervical ripening. IL-8 was localized to stromal cells, macrophages and granulocytes. There were no significant differences in IL-1β levels between groups. IL-8 receptors were expressed primarily on granulocytes and macrophages after vaginal delivery. We conclude that IL-8 is involved in cervical dilatation but not in cervical ripening.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sakamoto Y, Moran P, Searle RF, Bulmer JN, Robson SC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical and Experimental Immunology

Year: 2004

Volume: 138

Issue: 1

Pages: 151-157

ISSN (print): 0009-9104

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2249

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2004.02584.x

PubMed id: 15373918


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