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Biol Reprod. 1993 Jan;48(1):33-9.

A murine model of preterm labor: inflammatory mediators regulate the production of prostaglandin E2 and interleukin-6 by murine decidua.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84132.


Inflammatory processes may be important in the initiation and propagation of uterine contractions and preterm labor in human pregnancies. Recently, a murine model of preterm labor has been described. The purpose of our study was to determine whether murine decidua responds to inflammatory mediators, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Allogeneic pregnant mice (C3H/Hen females mated with C57/B6 males) were killed at 12-14 days of pregnancy, decidual tissue was isolated, and explants were placed on the polycarbonate membrane of Costar Transwell inserts. Initial validation studies of this explant system, including biochemical and histologic evaluations, indicated that the decidual tissue remained intact, viable, and responsive to IL-1 beta for at least 5 days in explant culture. Treatment of murine decidual explants with LPS, IL-1 beta, and TNF resulted in significant increases in the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and IL-6. Thus the regulation of PGE2 and IL-6 production from murine decidua by LPS and inflammatory cytokines is similar to findings previously reported for human decidua. Our findings are consistent with the view that the pathophysiology of infection-induced preterm labor in the mouse may be similar to that in human pregnancy and supports the continued development of murine models of preterm labor.

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