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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Sep;169(3):625-32.

Interleukin-8 production by the human cervix.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.



Our purpose was (1) to determine whether the human cervix is capable of producing interleukin-8 in vitro and to examine the possibility of stimulating an increase in any such output and (2) to examine the concomitant production of prostaglandins.


Cervical tissue was obtained from 48 women, 29 pregnant women undergoing surgical termination of pregnancy (20 of whom were treated with the prostaglandin analog Cervagem), 14 nonpregnant, premenopausal women, and three postmenopausal women. Explants were cultured and the medium was assayed for interleukin-8 and prostaglandin E2. Analysis of variance and Newman-Keuls statistical tests were used.


Significant quantities of interleukin-8 were produced by the tissue, and the data indicate that cervical explants from pregnant and nonpregnant women behave in a similar way when challenged by phorbol myristate acetate but that the postmenopausal cervix loses its capacity for interleukin-8 production.


Human cervix is capable of producing large amounts of interleukin-8 in vitro, and it may be influenced by the steroid hormones. Thus interleukin-8 could be an excellent candidate for a prime role in neutrophil-mediated cervical ripening.

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