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Infection and labor

III. Interleukin-1: A signal for the onset of parturition
  • Roberto Romero
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Roberto Romero, MD, Yale Univesity School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 333 Cedar St., P.O. Box 3333, Neu, Haven, CT 06510.
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, New Haven, Connecticut, and Frederick, Maryland
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  • Dan T. Brody
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, New Haven, Connecticut, and Frederick, Maryland
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  • Enrique Oyarzun
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, New Haven, Connecticut, and Frederick, Maryland
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  • Moshe Mazor
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, New Haven, Connecticut, and Frederick, Maryland
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  • Ying King Wu
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, New Haven, Connecticut, and Frederick, Maryland
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  • John C. Hobbins
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, New Haven, Connecticut, and Frederick, Maryland
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  • Scott K. Durum
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, New Haven, Connecticut, and Frederick, Maryland
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      Abstract

      The regulatory signals responsible for the increased biosynthesis of prostaglandins during parturition have not been established. Because interleukin-1 is capable of stimulating prostaglandin production by intrauterine tissues and is an inflammatory mediator, we propose that interleukin-1 may act as a signal for the onset of human labor in the setting of intrauterine infection. The purpose of these studies was to determine interleukin-1 activity in amniotic fluid and to establish its relationship with the onset of term and preterm labor. Amniotic fluid from 182 patients was assayed for interleukin-1 activity. Cell-associated interleukin-1 activity was detected in fluid obtained in the third trimester but not in fluid obtained in the second trimester of pregnancy, suggesting a maturational event in interleukin-1 production. The factor responsible for interleukin-1 activity had biochemical characteristics of interleukin-in (estimated molecular weight of 14 kilodaltons, isoelectric point = 4.9), and its activity was blocked with an anti-interleukin-1 a antisera. Women in spontaneous labor at term were more likely to have fluid phase interleukin-1 activity in amniotic fluid than women who were not in labor at term. Preterm labor in the setting of intraamniotic infection was associated with significant interleukin-1 activity in amniotic fluid. This bioactivity was predominantly attributable to interleukin-1p. A strong correlation between interleukin-1 and amniotic fluid concentrations of prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin FZa was found in women in preterm labor. These findings support the hypothesis that interleukin-1 may play a role in the initiation of preterm labor associated with intraamniotic infection. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1989;160:1117-23.)

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