Prostaglandin endoperoxide H synthase mRNA expression in the human amnion and decidua during pregnancy and in the amnion at preterm labour. (1/868)

We have examined the expression of prostaglandin endoperoxide H synthase (PGHS) isoenzymes in the amnion and the decidua during gestation, and the abundance of PGHS mRNA in the amnion at idiopathic preterm labour. PGHS-1 and -2 mRNA abundance in the amnion, determined with ribonuclease protection assays, was significantly (P< 0.05) higher at term than earlier during pregnancy. In contrast, neither PGHS-1 and -2 mRNA values, nor PGHS-specific activity, measured with a cell-free assay, was different in the decidua at term as compared to earlier gestational ages. In individual term patients, PGHS-2 mRNA values in the amnion were positively correlated with PGHS-2 mRNA values in the chorion laeve. PGHS-1 and -2 mRNA abundance was higher (P < 0.05) in the amnion after idiopathic preterm labour than in the absence of labour at the same gestational age (28-35 weeks). Thus, PGHS-1 and -2 are induced in the amnion at term. Furthermore, amniotic PGHS-2 changes in co-ordination with PGHS-2 concentrations in the chorion laeve. PGHS is not induced in the decidua at term. Increased amniotic PGHS expression may contribute to the enhanced intrauterine prostaglandin synthesis before term labour. Both PGHS isoenzymes may participate in the increase of PGHS activity in the amnion at preterm birth.  (+info)

First-trimester cord entanglement in monoamniotic twins. (2/868)

OBJECTIVE: Monoamniotic twinning occurs in only 1% of twin pregnancies, but carries a high perinatal mortality rate. Early and reliable diagnosis is essential if attempts are to be made to reduce the complication rate. We report color Doppler demonstration of cord entanglement in the first trimester, which is diagnostic of monoamnionicity. METHODS: Two patients with twin pregnancies were examined in the first trimester with pulsed and color Doppler insonation of their umbilical arteries. RESULTS: Cord entanglement was suspected and proved by demonstrating differing fetal heart rate patterns in the same direction on umbilical artery Doppler analysis of a common mass of cord vessels. Following appropriate counselling, medical amnioreduction was induced at 20 weeks of gestation to reduce fetal movements and worsening cord entanglement. Delivery was by elective Cesarean section at 32 weeks' gestation and monoamnionicity was confirmed. CONCLUSION: We report a new sign for the demonstration of monoamnionicity in twin pregnancies in the first trimester. This should improve the reliability of early diagnosis, but further studies are required to confirm that, if cord entanglement occurs, it is usually present by the end of the first trimester.  (+info)

Tissue plasminogen activator and its receptor in the human amnion, chorion, and decidua at preterm and term. (3/868)

The plasminogen activator system consists of two proteins: tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), which act upon their specific receptors to generate plasmin from plasminogen located on the cell surface. Plasmin then acts directly and indirectly to degrade the components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). This process is likely to be important in the normal turnover of the ECM of fetal membranes and in its premature weakening in preterm premature rupture of the fetal membranes. Quantitative Northern analysis and in situ hybridization have shown that the decidua expresses mRNA for tPA. However, the immunolocalized tPA protein was most strongly associated with the amnion and chorion, as was its receptor annexin II, suggesting that the amnion and chorion are the targets for decidual tPA. At term, decidual tPA expression was unaffected by labor, and the tPA receptor was elevated both before and after labor. At preterm, the converse was found: decidual tPA expression was significantly (p < 0. 05) up-regulated by labor, but the tPA receptor was not. The results suggest that the generation of plasmin at term would be controlled by an increased concentration of the tPA receptor in the amnion and chorion, whereas at preterm a pathological increase in plasmin would be generated by an overexpression of tPA, initiated by labor.  (+info)

Conjunctival epithelial cell differentiation on amniotic membrane. (4/868)

PURPOSE: Amniotic membrane (AM)-reconstructed conjunctival surfaces recover the normal epithelial phenotype with a significantly higher cell density than the control. The present study was undertaken to examine how AM modulates rabbit conjunctival epithelial cell differentiation. METHODS: Rabbit conjunctival epithelial cells (RCEs) were cultured on the basement membrane side of dispase-pretreated AM, with or without seeding rabbit conjunctival fibroblasts (RCFs) on the stromal side. After 7 to 12 days, half of the cultures were raised to the air-liquid interface, and the remainder stayed submerged. A small group of air-lifted cultures containing RCFs was treated with retinoic acid. After 1, 2, and 4 weeks, cultures were terminated and processed for immunostaining with antibodies directed against distinct types of mucins (SMC and AM3), glycocalyx (AMEM2), keratin K3 (AE5), and K12 (AK2). Additionally, western blot analysis was performed for K3 keratin expression. Ultrastructural changes were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy. RESULTS: In general, RCEs grown on AM were uniformly small, negative to AE5 and AK2 antibodies, and positive to AMEM2 and ASPG1 antibodies. Epithelial stratification and cell polarity with prominent microvilli, tight junctions, and hemidesmosomes were more pronounced in air-lifted cultures. RCEs cocultured with RCFs showed scattered AM3-positive goblet cells, which were not increased by retinoic acid. CONCLUSIONS: RCEs cultured on AM primarily exhibit a nongoblet conjunctival epithelial phenotype. Epithelial stratification and cell polarity, features essential for epithelial differentiation, are promoted by air-lifting. This culture model will be useful for studying how growth and differentiation of conjunctival epithelial cells can be modulated further.  (+info)

Expression of cyclo-oxygenase types-1 and -2 in human fetal membranes throughout pregnancy. (5/868)

Human labour is associated with increased prostaglandin synthesis within the fetal membranes. We have studied the expression of the two isoforms of the central prostaglandin synthetic enzyme, cyclo-oxygenase (COX-1 and COX-2), in human fetal membranes throughout pregnancy, at mRNA, protein and activity levels. COX-1 mRNA expression was low in human amnion and chorion-decidua and did not change with gestational age. COX-2 mRNA expression in fetal membranes increased with gestational age, with significant up-regulation prior to the onset of labour and in association with labour. Protein concentrations of COX-1 did not change, whilst concentrations of COX-2 increased from the first to the third trimester. COX activity increased with gestational age and in association with labour, although prostaglandin production in fetal membranes collected after labour was reduced, suggesting reduced substrate supply. These data suggest that it is up-regulation of COX-2, rather than of COX-1, which mediates increased prostaglandin synthesis within the fetal membranes at term. Much of the increase in COX-2 expression precedes the onset of labour, suggesting that it is a cause, rather than a consequence, of labour.  (+info)

Amnion-derived cells express intercellular adhesion molecule-1: regulation by cytokines. (6/868)

We have examined the expression of the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) mRNA in primary and established amnion-derived cell cultures and regulation of this expression by tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-1beta. TNF-alpha (50 ng/ml) and IL-1beta (1.0 ng/ml) induced 18- and 11-fold increases respectively in expression of the ICAM-1 mRNA in WISH cells (an amnion epithelium-derived cell line). The increase was detectable within one hour of treatment and peaked by two hours. The protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide (10 microg/ml) did not inhibit this induction. Increased levels of ICAM-1 protein were detected in the cells within 4 h after initiation of treatment with either cytokine. By 16 h of treatment with IL-1beta or TNF-alpha ICAM-1 reached 40 and 73 pg/microg cellular protein, representing 6- and 11-fold stimulations respectively. In primary amnion cells, basal expression of ICAM-1 mRNA was undetectable. However, TNF-alpha (50 ng/ml) induced ICAM-1 mRNA within two hours, peak expression being reached between four and eight hours after initiation of treatment. The present report demonstrates for the first time that amnion derived cells can express ICAM-1 and, further, that this expression is regulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. This has implications for the amnion as a possible source for soluble ICAM-1, for this gene product as a marker for preterm labour, and for participation of the amnion, additional to its reported secretory role, in inflammatory processes of the fetal membranes.  (+info)

Oxytocin receptor expression in human term and preterm gestational tissues prior to and following the onset of labour. (7/868)

Oxytocin receptor (OTR) mRNA expression has previously been demonstrated in human myometrium, decidua, chorion and amnion but the effect of gestational age and the onset of labour has not been determined in these individual tissues. Spatial OTR mRNA expression was examined by in situ hybridization and ligand binding was confirmed using autoradiography with the iodinated oxytocin antagonist d(CH2)5[Tyr(Me)2,Thr4,Tyr-NH29]-vasotocin (125I-OTA). Tissue was collected at term (>37 weeks of gestation) or preterm (24-36 weeks of gestation) caesarean section and classified as labour (contractions every 5 min associated with cervical dilatation) or non-labour. OTR mRNA expression was measured as optical density units from autoradiographs. There was a highly significant (P<0.001) effect of tissue type on expression of OTR mRNA with expression greatest in myometrium, low in decidua and chorion and not detected in placenta. Similar results were obtained with the 125I-OTA-binding studies, indicating that the message was translated. Amnion had an apparently high level of both hybridization and 125I-OTA binding in some samples, but a lack of specificity prevented quantification of the signal in this tissue type. Term myometrium (labour and non-labour) had significantly higher (P<0.01) OTR mRNA expression than preterm myometrium, but there was no further increase in mRNA concentration associated with labour onset. In contrast, 125I-OTA binding in myometrium was already high at 33 weeks and did not increase further either later in pregnancy or with labour. In decidua there was no effect of gestational age or labour onset on OTR mRNA expression or 125I-OTA binding. In summary, OTR mRNA expression in the myometrium increased in late pregnancy whereas decidual expression was much lower and did not rise at term.  (+info)

Human RNA-specific adenosine deaminase ADAR1 transcripts possess alternative exon 1 structures that initiate from different promoters, one constitutively active and the other interferon inducible. (8/868)

RNA-specific adenosine deaminase (ADAR1) catalyzes the deamination of adenosine to inosine in viral and cellular RNAs. Two size forms of the ADAR1 editing enzyme are known, an IFN-inducible approximately 150-kDa protein and a constitutively expressed N-terminally truncated approximately 110-kDa protein. We have now identified alternative exon 1 structures of human ADAR1 transcripts that initiate from unique promoters, one constitutively expressed and the other IFN inducible. Cloning and sequence analyses of 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) cDNAs from human placenta established a linkage between exon 2 of ADAR1 and two alternative exon 1 structures, designated herein as exon 1A and exon 1B. Analysis of RNA isolated from untreated and IFN-treated human amnion cells demonstrated that exon 1B-exon 2 transcripts were synthesized in the absence of IFN and were not significantly altered in amount by IFN treatment. By contrast, exon 1A-exon 2 transcripts were IFN inducible. Transient transfection analysis with reporter constructs led to the identification of two functional promoters, designated PC and PI. Exon 1B transcripts were initiated from the PC promoter whose activity in transient transfection reporter assays was not increased by IFN treatment. The 107-nt exon 1B mapped 14.5 kb upstream of exon 2. The 201-nt exon 1A that mapped 5.4 kb upstream of exon 2 was initiated from the interferon-inducible PI promoter. These results suggest that two promoters, one IFN inducible and the other not, initiate transcription of the ADAR1 gene, and that alternative splicing of unique exon 1 structures to a common exon 2 junction generates RNA transcripts with the deduced coding capacity for either the constitutively expressed approximately 110-kDa ADAR1 protein (exon 1B) or the interferon-induced approximately 150-kDa ADAR1 protein (exon 1A).  (+info)