Unbalanced Progesterone Signals May Cause Preterm Labor

Recent research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that unbalanced progesterone signals may cause some pregnant women to experience preterm labor or prolonged labor.Unbalanced Progesterone Signals May Cause Preterm Labor

For their study, the researchers used genetically engineered mouse models to alter the ratio of progesterone receptor types A and B, referred to as PGR-A and PGR-B, in the myometrium, the muscle compartment of the uterus.

The first author of the study Steve Wu, Ph.D., a staff scientist in DeMayo's lab, says: “Progesterone treatment aimed at preventing premature labor can help a subset of patients, but for other individuals, confounding factors may reduce effectiveness. The research team found novel molecules that control uterine muscle contraction, and they could serve as future therapeutic targets.”

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