Our objective was to examine the topology-, gestation- and labor-related changes of estrogen receptor (ER)alpha, progesterone receptor (PR), oxytocin receptor (OTR) and thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) mRNA in pregnant baboon myometrium. ER alpha, PR, OTR and TSP1 mRNAs extracted from the lower uterine segment and fundal myometrium of pregnant baboons not in labor between 121 and 180 days of gestational age (n=9) and in established spontaneous labor between 164 and 193 days of gestational age (n=5) were analyzed by Northern blot. There were no topology-, gestation- or labor-related changes of ER alpha and PR mRNA in or between the lower uterine segment or/and the fundus. OTR mRNA was the same in the lower uterine segment and the fundus from baboons not in labor and non-labor fundal, but not lower uterine segment, myometrial OTR mRNA increased with gestation (R(2)=0.81, P<0.05). Fundal OTR mRNA rose significantly compared with the lower uterine segment during spontaneous labor. TSP1 mRNA increased significantly in both the fundus and lower uterine segment during labor. TSP1 mRNA in the lower uterine segment during spontaneous labor was higher than in the fundus during spontaneous labor. In conclusion, fundal and lower uterine segment ER alpha and PR mRNA remained unchanged in late gestation and spontaneous labor. The increased OTR mRNA may serve as a mechanism to increase uterine sensitivity to OT during late gestation. The higher fundal OTR mRNA compared with the lower uterine segment provides polarity which assists fetal expulsion by uterine contractions during labor. The significance of increased TSP1 mRNA during labor may relate to homeostasis and merits further study.
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WX Wu, XH Ma, Q Zhang, and PW Nathanielsz
WX Wu, XH Ma, Q Zhang, K Chakrabarty, and PW Nathanielsz
In the present study we characterized two labor-induced genes, DSCR1 (Down syndrome candidate region 1) and TCTE1L (murine t-complex like), which were identified by suppression subtractive hybridization in the pregnant ovine myometrium. DSCR1 and TCTE1L cDNA sequences were retrieved from a custom-made labor-myometrial cDNA library by hybridization screening. The characterized cDNA sequences include 5'-untranslated region (UTR), coding region and 3'-UTR, which are 12 bp, 351 bp and 1716 bp for TCTE1L, and 64 bp, 594 bp and 1539 bp for DSCR1 respectively. The two cDNA sequences encode proteins of 116 and 197 amino acids for TCTE1L and DSCR1 respectively. Northern analysis further confirmed the significant increases of myometrial DSCR1 and TCTE1L mRNA associated with spontaneous term labor (n=6) compared with gestation-matched controls not in labor (n=6). The abundance of DSCR1 and TCTE1L mRNA was attenuated when myometrial contraction was inhibited by Nimesulide (n=6), a specific prostaglandin H synthase 2 inhibitor. Fetal occupancy greatly upregulated DSCR1 and TCTE1L mRNA in the gravid horn during betamethasone-induced premature labor (n=6) compared with the non-gravid horn not in labor (n=3). Estradiol upregulated TCTE1L mRNA, but had no effect on DSCR1 mRNA expression in the non-pregnant sheep myometrium. Progesterone alone had no effect on both DSCR1 and TCTE1L mRNA expression, however progesterone antagonized estradiol's stimulating effect on myometrial TCTE1L mRNA expression in ovariectomized non-pregnant sheep. Upregulation of DSCR1 and TCTE1L in both betamethasone-induced premature labor and spontaneous term labor and inhibition of their expression by Nimesulide suggest a functional role of these two genes in myometrial activation associated with onset of labor. Mechanical stretch, labor and steroids differentially regulated DSCR1 and TCTE1L mRNA in the pregnant and non-pregnant sheep myometrium.