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Mol Hum Reprod. 2004 Dec;10(12):895-9. Epub 2004 Oct 15.

Mechanical stretch of human uterine smooth muscle cells increases IL-8 mRNA expression and peptide synthesis.

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Imperial College Parturition Research Group, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, DuCane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.


Labour is associated with increased synthesis of interleukin-8 (IL-8) by the fetal membranes and myometrium, which leads to an inflammatory infiltrate. Stretch has been shown to increase the expression of contraction-associated proteins in animal models of labour and in human myocytes in vitro. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that mechanical stretch of human myometrial cells increases IL-8 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression. We isolated myocytes from non-pregnant women undergoing hysterectomy and pregnant women undergoing Caesarean section before and after the onset of labour. Myocytes in culture were subjected to stretch of varying intensity (6-16%) and duration (1 or 6 h) using the Flexercell system. IL-8 mRNA expression was lowest in myocytes from pregnant women not in labour, intermediate in those from non-pregnant women and greatest in those from pregnant women in labour. Stretch increased IL-8 mRNA expression independent of reproductive state. The stretch-induced increase in IL-8 mRNA expression was associated with higher IL-8 levels in the culture supernatant and enhanced promoter activity. These data suggest that stretch contributes to the increase in myometrial IL-8 synthesis associated with the onset of labour in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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