Department

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Publication Year

2010

Abstract

Progesterone is a gonadal steroid that maintains pregnancy and prevents ripening of the cervix. Previous research has shown that progesterone has a strong binding affinity for both progesterone and glucocorticoid receptors. However, what is not known is the role these receptors play in the parturition process. The purpose of this study was to determine whether progesterone withdrawal promotes the neuroinflammatory processes within the pre-partum cervix through the action of progesterone receptors. To test this, time-dated pregnant mice were subjected to pure agonists or a progestagen that binds to both receptors. Sections of cervix were analyzed to count resident immune cells and determine ripening within each cervix. Immune cell counts did not display any significant differences between the mice treated with the pure progesterone agonist and the mice treated with the mixed progestagen. Cell nuclei counts revealed a significant increase in cell nuclei of the pre-partum cervices treated with the pure progesterone agonist. Serum progesterone levels behaved as expected. Further analysis of cervical tissue will be performed in order to improve the validity of the results found in this study.

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