Navigation Links
Balancing the womb
Date:12/21/2011

New research hopes to explain premature births and failed inductions of labour. The study by academics at the University of Bristol suggests a new mechanism by which the level of myosin phosphorylation is regulated in the pregnant uterus.

The researchers, Dr Claire Hudson and Professor Andrs Lpez Bernal in the School of Clinical Sciences and Dr Kate Heesom in the University Proteomics Facility and the School of Biochemistry, have discovered that phosphorylation of uterus proteins at specific amino acids have a key role in the regulation of uterine activity in labour.

A remarkable feature of the uterus (the womb) is that it remains relatively relaxed for the nine months of pregnancy, carrying the baby safely, and then, during labour, it contracts forcibly and the baby is born. A special type of smooth muscle that grows and stretches during pregnancy to accommodate the fetus and the placenta forms the uterus.

Hormones such as oxytocin or prostaglandins promote labour, but the biochemical changes that allow the switch from relaxation to contractions to happen are not fully understood. This makes it difficult to predict when a woman is going to deliver. In eight to ten per cent of women delivery occurs too early (preterm labour, before 37 weeks' gestation) and prematurity is associated with major risks for the baby. On the other hand when labour has to be induced for medical reasons, it is impossible to know whether the induction will be successful or whether it will require an emergency caesarean section with risks for the mother and baby.

Using small biopsies of uterine tissue from women who delivered at St Michael's Hospital, Dr Hudson has demonstrated that contractions require both a calcium dependent pathway driven by myosin kinase and a calcium independent pathway that regulates the activity of myosin phosphatase. Additionally, Dr Hudson has pinpointed precisely the position of the amino acids in myosin and myosin phosphatase that are phosphorylated during cycles of contraction and relaxation of uterine smooth muscle.

Dr Claire Hudson said: "This study has increased our understanding of the biochemical changes underlying uterine activity and may help in the design of better drugs to prevent preterm labour or to induce labour successfully at term, benefiting many thousands of women and their babies."

Andrs Lpez Bernal, Professor of Human Reproductive Biology, added: "Our research will lead to better control of labour, whether stopping or starting it and it could be extended to the study of the non-pregnant uterus to improve our understanding of menstruation and to identify alterations responsible for painful periods or excessive menstrual blood loss."

A key aspect of smooth muscle contractions is the phosphorylation (addition of phosphate) to certain muscle proteins called myosins, and is usually stimulated by increasing the level of calcium inside the cells. The balance of myosin phosphorylation and de-phosphorylation (removal of phosphate) is finely regulated by myosin kinases and myosin phosphatases, respectively, and in pregnancy this equilibrium determines whether the uterus is relaxed or contracting.

Alterations in the kinase/phosphatase equilibrium and its regulation by calcium can make the uterus more sensitive to oxytocin and other hormones that trigger labour and provoke preterm birth. On the other hand, alterations that favour relaxation may make the uterus contract poorly and result in failed induction of labour.


'/>"/>
Contact: Joanne Fryer
joanne.fryer@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-331-7276
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Parenting after the death of a child a difficult balancing act: York U study
2. 'The Balancing Act' & Chicken of the Sea Search for America's 'Supercook'
3. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Dr. Bob Arnot to the Program
4. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes HSA Bank to the Program
5. O2 Media's Hit Morning TV Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Absolute Miracle Cream to the Program
6. ‘The Balancing Act' and Chicken of the Sea Search for America's ‘Supercook'
7. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Dexter Russell, Inc. to the Program
8. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Resident Chef Jeremy Hanlon to the Program
9. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes the Arthritis Foundation to the Program
10. O2 Media's Hit Morning TV Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Atkins Nutritionals to the Program
11. Natures Peak Products Along With Company President Paul Wilkinson Were Recently Featured on Segment of Lifetime TV Networks Nationally Broadcast Show The Balancing Act
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Dickinson Insurance and ... and financial preparation services, is providing an update on a charitable event that ... City Rescue is a locally recognized nonprofit that provides shelter and care for ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American ... to become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer ... Elect beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Ill. (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... Edwardsville School of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer ... healthcare professionals on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers ... companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. ... pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many ... event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids ... of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  True Health, a leader in ... effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to ... Research recently ... that more than 10 million American women are ... BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have not had testing. These ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... , Oct. 5, 2017  In response ... of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing ... – to be used as a first-line therapy ... Recognizing the ... AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) will ... 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Lilly will also ... investment community and media to further detail the company,s ... at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, media and the ... conference call through a link that will be posted ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: