Dynamic Changes in Cervical Glycosaminoglycan Composition during Normal Pregnancy and Preterm Birth
ABSTRACT Glycosaminoglycans (GAG) have diverse functions that regulate macromolecular assembly in the extracellular matrix. During pregnancy, the rigid cervix transforms to a pliable structure to allow birth. Quantitative assessment of cervical GAG is a prerequisite to identify GAG functions in term and preterm birth. In the current study, total GAG levels increased at term, yet the abundance, chain length, and sulfation levels of sulfated GAG remained constant. The increase in total GAG resulted exclusively from an increase in hyaluronan (HA). HA can form large structures that promote increased viscosity, hydration, and matrix disorganization as well as small structures that have roles in inflammation. HA levels increased from 19% of total GAG in early pregnancy to 71% at term. Activity of the HA-metabolizing enzyme, hyaluronidase, increased in labor, resulting in metabolism of large to small HA. Similar to mice, HA transitions from high to low molecular weight in term human cervix. Mouse preterm models were also characterized by an increase in HA resulting from differential expression of the HA synthase (Has) genes, with increased Has1 in preterm in contrast to Has2 induction at term. The Has2 gene but not Has1 is regulated in part by estrogen. These studies identify a shift in sulfated GAG dominance in the early pregnant cervix to HA dominance in term and preterm ripening. Increased HA synthesis along with hyaluronidase-induced changes in HA size in mice and women suggest diverse contributions of HA to macromolecular changes in the extracellular matrix, resulting in loss of tensile strength during parturition.
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- "Decorin has been studied in the uterine cervix and appears to have a role in the cervical changes of gestation and parturition by interaction with collagen fibers (as discussed by   ). Hyaluronan becomes dominant at term cervix in mice and women and contributes to the loss of tensile strength of the cervix during parturition (as discussed in  ). Hyalectans, another family of ECM proteoglycans, interact with hyaluronic acid and are very important in the regulation of water retention and distribution in tissue. "
ABSTRACT: The role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and mechanotransduction as an important signaling factor in the human uterus is just beginning to be appreciated. The ECM is not only the substance that surrounds cells, but ECM stiffness will either compress cells or stretch them resulting in signals converted into chemical changes within the cell, depending on the amount of collagen, cross-linking, and hydration, as well as other ECM components. In this review we present evidence that the stiffness of fibroid tissue has a direct effect on the growth of the tumor through the induction of fibrosis. Fibrosis has two characteristics: (1) resistance to apoptosis leading to the persistence of cells and (2) secretion of collagen and other components of the ECM such a proteoglycans by those cells leading to abundant disposition of highly cross-linked, disoriented, and often widely dispersed collagen fibrils. Fibrosis affects cell growth by mechanotransduction, the dynamic signaling system whereby mechanical forces initiate chemical signaling in cells. Data indicate that the structurally disordered and abnormally formed ECM of uterine fibroids contributes to fibroid formation and growth. An appreciation of the critical role of ECM stiffness to fibroid growth may lead to new strategies for treatment of this common disease.Obstetrics and Gynecology International 07/2014; 2014:783289. DOI:10.1155/2014/783289
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ABSTRACT: Background Newborn resuscitation with 100% oxygen is associated with oxidative-nitrative stresses and inflammation. The mechanisms are unclear. Hyaluronan (HA) is fragmented to low molecular weight (LMW) by oxidative-nitrative stresses and can promote inflammation. We examined the effects of 100% oxygen resuscitation and treatment with the antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), on lung 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT), LMW HA, inflammation, TNFα and IL1ß in a newborn pig model of resuscitation. Methods & Principal Findings Newborn pigs (n = 40) were subjected to severe asphyxia, followed by 30 min ventilation with either 21% or 100% oxygen, and were observed for the subsequent 150 minutes in 21% oxygen. One 100% oxygen group was treated with NAC. Serum, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), lung sections, and lung tissue were obtained. Asphyxia resulted in profound hypoxia, hypercarbia and metabolic acidosis. In controls, HA staining was in airway subepithelial matrix and no 3-NT staining was seen. At the end of asphyxia, lavage HA decreased, whereas serum HA increased. At 150 minutes after resuscitation, exposure to 100% oxygen was associated with significantly higher BAL HA, increased 3NT staining, and increased fragmentation of lung HA. Lung neutrophil and macrophage contents, and serum TNFα and IL1ß were higher in animals with LMW than those with HMW HA in the lung. Treatment of 100% oxygen animals with NAC blocked nitrative stress, preserved HMW HA, and decreased inflammation. In vitro, peroxynitrite was able to fragment HA, and macrophages stimulated with LMW HA increased TNFα and IL1ß expression. Conclusions & Significance Compared to 21%, resuscitation with 100% oxygen resulted in increased peroxynitrite, fragmentation of HA, inflammation, as well as TNFα and IL1ß expression. Antioxidant treatment prevented the expression of peroxynitrite, the degradation of HA, and also blocked increases in inflammation and inflammatory cytokines. These findings provide insight into potential mechanisms by which exposure to hyperoxia results in systemic inflammation.PLoS ONE 06/2012; 7(6):e38839. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0038839 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report the development of an all-fiber-optic scanning endomicroscope capable of high-resolution second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging of biological tissues and demonstrate its utility for monitoring the remodeling of cervical collagen during gestation in mice. The endomicroscope has an overall 2.0 mm diameter and consists of a single customized double-clad fiber, a compact rapid two-dimensional beam scanner, and a miniature compound objective lens for excitation beam delivery, scanning, focusing, and efficient SHG signal collection. Endomicroscopic SHG images of murine cervical tissue sections at different stages of normal pregnancy reveal progressive, quantifiable changes in cervical collagen morphology with resolution similar to that of bench-top SHG microscopy. SHG endomicroscopic imaging of ex vivo murine and human cervical tissues through intact epithelium has also been performed. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of SHG endomicroscopy technology for staging normal pregnancy, and suggest its potential application as a minimally invasive tool for clinical assessment of abnormal cervical remodeling associated with preterm birth.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2012; 109(32):12878-83. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1121495109 · 9.81 Impact Factor