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Prostaglandins. 1997 Sep;54(3):625-38.

Production of prostaglandin F2 alpha and E2 in explants of intrauterine tissues of guinea pigs during late pregnancy and labor.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Prostaglandin production in amnion and decidua is considered important for human parturition. We investigated in pregnant guinea pigs, a species similar to women in regard to the endocrinology of pregnancy, whether the production rates of PGE2 and PGF2 alpha in various intrauterine tissues are compatible with a role in parturition. Net production rates were measured at 45, 55 and 65 days of gestation and during labor in amnion, chorion, myo-endometrium, the outer layer of the myometrium, the site of placental implantation, and placenta. Net production rates in amnion increased between 45 days and labor (30-fold for PGE2 and 8-fold for PGF2 alpha, P < 0.0001). During labor, the production rates in amnion of PGE2 (P = 0.006) and PGF2 alpha (P = 0.019) were higher than at 45, 55, and 65 days of gestation. In myo-endometrium, the production rates of PGF2 alpha were higher at 65 days of gestation than at 55 days and during labor (P = 0.046). Addition of arachidonic acid (10(-5) M) increased production of PGE2 and/or PGF2 alpha in all tissues (P < 0.05) except placenta. In amnion, the response to arachidonic acid increased with advancing gestation. This suggests that 1) PGE2 and PGF2 alpha produced by amnion have a potential role in the initiation and maintenance of labor, 2) PGF2 alpha produced by myo-endometrium has a potential role in the initiation of labor, 3) cyclooxygenase(s) are not rate-limiting except in placenta, and 4) the expression of cyclooxygenase in amnion increases with advancing gestation.

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