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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Oct;173(4):1075-8.

Meconium inhibits the contraction of umbilical vessels induced by the thromboxane A2 analog U46619.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Our objective was to study the direct effects of meconium on isolated umbilical artery and vein in vitro.


Intact umbilical artery and vein rings were suspended in 5 ml organ baths containing kreb's solution (pH 7.2, 37 degrees C; bubbled with 2.5% oxygen and 8.07% carbon dioxide, balance nitrogen) for isometric tension recording. Meconium alone (final bath concentration 1%), centrifuged and filtered meconium, and meconium with the lipid fraction removed (separated into < 30,000 kd and > 30,000 kd) were added to the baths. Some vessels were also incubated in 1% meconium for 30 minutes, after which the meconium was washed out. Concentration-response curves to U46619 were obtained. The negative log of the concentration that evokes 50% of the maximal contraction was determined.


Umbilical artery and vein had no sustained response to meconium. Tension that developed by rings exposed to meconium was significantly less than control at all concentrations of U46619. There was some loss of the efficacy of meconium after centrifugation-filtration and washing out. Meconium without the lipid fraction had less inhibitory effect than did native meconium.


Meconium does not cause sustained contraction of umbilical artery and vein in vitro. It does, however, inhibit the contractile effect of U46619 in both umbilical artery and vein smooth muscle. The inhibitory activity of meconium appears to be concentrated in the lipid fraction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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