[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the biomechanical characteristics of human fetal membranes (FM) throughout gestation. Biomechanical properties were determined for 115 FM of 23-41 weeks gestation using our previously described methodology. The areas of membrane immediately adjacent to the strongest and weakest tested spots were sampled for histomorphometric analysis. Clinical data on the patients whose FM were examined were also collected. FM less than 28 weeks gestation were associated with higher incidence of abruption and chorioamnionitis. Topographically FM at all gestations had heterogeneous biomechanical characteristics over their surfaces with distinct weak areas. The most premature membranes were the strongest. FM strength represented by rupture force and work to rupture decreased with increasing gestation in both weak and strong regions of FM. This decrease in FM strength was most dramatic at more than 38 weeks gestation. The FM component amnion-chorion sublayers were thinner in the weak areas compared to strong areas. Compared to term FM, preterm FM are stronger but have similar heterogeneous weak and strong areas. Following a gradual increase in FM weakness with increasing gestation, there is a major drop-off at term 38 weeks gestation. The FM weak areas are thinner than the stronger areas. Whether the difference in thickness is enough to account for the strength differences is unknown.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abruption-induced thrombin generation and inflammation/infection induced cytokine production have both been associated with fetal membrane (FM) weakening and preterm premature rupture of the fetal membranes (PPROM). Using our in vitro model system we have demonstrated that thrombin, and separately the cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β), remodel and weaken full thickness FM. Additionally, we have reported that the anti-oxidant and NFκB inhibitor, alpha-lipoic acid (LA), blocks these thrombin and cytokine induced effects. The purpose of these studies was to determine whether thrombin and cytokines directly weaken the amnion membrane (AM), the major load-bearing component of FM. Isolated AM or full thickness FM fragments from unlabored Cesarean deliveries were incubated with thrombin, TNFα, or IL-1β, for 48 h. Rupture strength (breaking force) of each fragment was thereafter determined using our published methodology. Biochemical evidence of remodeling and apoptosis; immunoreactive Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), Tissue Inhibitor of Matrix Metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3) and cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (C-PARP) levels in tissue extracts, were determined by western blot and densitometry. Thrombin induced a dose-dependent weakening of isolated AM (P < 0.001) coupled with dose dependent increases in PARP cleavage, and reciprocal increases and decreases, respectively, in MMP9 and TIMP3 protein (all P < 0.01). Thrombin receptor activating peptide-6 (TRAP) also weakened isolated AM. Neither TNFα nor IL-1β weakened isolated AM. However, both cytokines weakened AM when it was incubated together with the choriodecidua as part of full thickness FM (P < 0.001). Cytokine-conditioned choriodecidua medium also weakened isolated AM (P < 0.001). Under conditions in which cytokines weakened the AM, the changes in MMP9, TIMP3 and PARP cleavage were consistent with those seen after thrombin incubation. LA blocked the FM weakening and remodeling effects. In summary, thrombin weakens AM directly whereas cytokines weaken AM indirectly by causing the release of soluble intermediates from the choriodecidua.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytokine-mediated inflammation and abruption-induced thrombin generation are separately implicated in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-mediated weakening of fetal membranes (FM) leading to preterm premature rupture of the fetal membranes (PPROM). At term, FM of both labored vaginal and unlabored Cesarean deliveries exhibit a weak zone overlying the cervix exhibiting ECM remodeling characterized by increased MMP9 protein and activity. We have reproduced these biochemical changes as well as FM weakening in vitro using tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-1β, inflammatory cytokines implicated in PPROM. Additionally, we have reported that the antioxidant and NFκB inhibitor alpha-lipoic Acid (LA) blocks these TNF-induced effects. We now present the first direct evidence that thrombin also can induce FM weakening in vitro, and LA treatment inhibits this thrombin-induced-weakening. Full thickness FM fragments from unlabored Cesarean deliveries were incubated with increasing doses of thrombin (0-100 u/ml) for 48 h. Fragments were then strength tested (breaking force and work to rupture) using our published methodology. MMP3 and 9 levels in tissue extracts were determined by Western blot and densitometry. To determine the effect of LA, FM fragments were incubated with control medium or 10 u/ml thrombin, with or without 0.25 mM LA. Strength testing and MMP induction were determined. Thrombin induced a dose-dependent decrease in FM strength (42% baseline rupture force and 45% work to rupture) coupled with a dose-dependent increase in MMP3 and 9 expression (all p < 0.001). Treatment of FM with 0.25 mM LA completely inhibited thrombin-induced FM weakening and MMP expression (all p < 0.001). Thrombin treatment of cultured FM induces mechanical weakening and increased MMP3 and 9. Treatment of FM with LA inhibits these thrombin-induced effects. We speculate LA may prove clinically useful in prevention of PPROM associated with abruption.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fetal membrane (FM) layers, amnion and choriodecidua, are frequently noted to have varying degrees of separation following delivery. FM layers normally separate prior to rupture during in vitro biomechanical testing. We hypothesized that the adherence between amnion and choriodecidua decreases prior to delivery resulting in separation of the FM layers and facilitating FM rupture.
FM from 232 consecutively delivered patients were examined to determine the extent of spontaneous separation of the FM layers at delivery. Percent separation was determined by the weight of separated FM tissue divided by the total FM weight. Separately, the adherence between intact FM layers was determined. FM adherence was tested following term vaginal delivery (13), term unlabored cesarean section (10), and preterm delivery (6).
Subjects enrolled in the two studies had similar demographic and clinical characteristics. FM separation was present in 92.1% of membranes. Only 4.3% of FM delivered following spontaneous rupture of the fetal membranes (SROM) had no detectable separation. 64.7% of FM had greater than 10% separation. FM from term vaginal deliveries had significantly more separation and were less adherent than FM of term unlabored, elective cesarean section (39.0+/-34.4% vs 22.5+/-30.9%, p=.046 and 0.041+/-0.018N/cm vs 0.048+/-0.019N/cm, p<.005). Preterm FM had less separation and were more adherent than term FM (9.95+/-17.7% vs 37.5+/-34.4% and 0.070+/-0.040N/cm vs 0.044+/-0.020N/cm; both p<.001).
Separation of the amnion from choriodecidua at delivery is almost universal. Increased separation is associated with decreased adherence as measured in vitro. Increased separation and decreased adherence are seen both with increasing gestation and with labor suggesting both biochemical and mechanical etiologies. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that FM layer separation is part of the FM weakening process during normal parturition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that separation of the amnion from choriodecidua occurs as an integral part of the fetal membranes (FM) rupture process. We have also reported that spontaneous separation of FM is nearly universal with term vaginal delivery. The etiology of this spontaneous FM separation is unknown. If biochemical degradation at the amnion-choriodecidua interface is a factor, decreased adhesive force between the FM components prior to their complete separation would be expected. The purpose of this project was to develop and validate machinery and procedures to measure the adhesive force between amnion and choriodecidua. Commercial tensile testing equipment was adapted to perform a standard T-peel test, per the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) guidelines. FM test strip dimensions, peel speed, and peel force data measurements from force versus displacement curves were optimized for reproducibility. Test system validation was performed using Shurtape CP 60 (slow release painter's masking tape) as the standard. Equipment and procedures for a standard T-peel test on FM were developed. Shurtape CP 60 of decreasing widths showed reproducible, linear changes in the adhesive force range for FM (r(2)=0.96). The adhesive force between FM components ranged from 0.017 to 0.262 N/cm. Reproducibility was optimal with FM test strips of 4 x 6 cm and a peel speed of 25.4 cm/min. FM showed greater adhesive force adjacent to the placental disc than distal from the disc (p<0.05). We have developed equipment and procedures to accurately and reproducibly measure adhesive force between the FM amnion and choriodecidua.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human fetal membranes (FM) at term have been shown to contain a weak zone in the region overlying the cervix which exhibits characteristics of increased collagen remodeling and apoptosis. It has been hypothesized that the FM rupture initiation site is within this weak zone. Although the FM weak zone has been partially characterized, it is unclear what structural differences in the extracellular matrix result in its decreased rupture strength. A screen for differentially expressed proteins in the amnion of the weak zone versus other FM areas demonstrated that fibulin 1 was decreased. We investigated potential regional differences in all fibulin protein family members.
FM fibulins were localized by immunohistochemistry. Detected fibulins were screened by Western blot for differences in abundance in the amnion of the weak zone versus non-weak zone FM regions. Amnion epithelial and mesenchymal cells were also screened for fibulin production.
Fibulins 1 and 5 were detected in the cytoplasm of and in a pericellular pattern surrounding all FM cells, and in a dense extracellular pattern in the amniotic compact zone. Fibulin 3 was detected within the cytoplasm of amnion epithelial and chorion trophoblast cells. Fibulins 2 and 4 were not detected. Fibulins 1, 3 and 5 demonstrated decreased abundance of 33%, 63% and 58% (all P<0.01) in amnion of the weak zone relative to other FM regions. Amnion cells produced all three detected fibulins. Furthermore, TNF inhibited amnion cell fibulin production in a dose dependent manner.
Fibulins 1, 3 and 5 were localized coincident with major microfibrillar networks in amnion. Each showed decreased abundance in the amnion component of the FM weak zone. Amnion epithelial and mesenchymal cells produced all three fibulins and their abundance was inhibited by TNF. We speculate that the amnion microfibrillar layer undergoes significant remodeling with the development of the FM weak zone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Premature rupture of the fetal membranes is a major cause of preterm birth and its associated infant morbidity and mortality. Recently, it has become clear that rupture of the fetal membranes, term or preterm, is not merely the result of the stretch and shear forces of uterine contractions, but is, in significant part, the consequence of a programmed weakening process. Work in the rat model has demonstrated that collagen remodeling, with activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and apoptosis increase markedly in the amnion at end-gestation, suggesting that these processes are involved in fetal membrane weakening. We have developed fetal membrane strength testing equipment and a systematic tissue sampling methodology that has allowed us to demonstrate that term, non-labored, fetal membranes have a zone of weakness overlying the cervix, which contains biochemical markers of both collagen remodeling and apoptosis. These findings provide strong support for the concept of programmed fetal membrane weakening prior to labor. Our model has also been used to establish the physical properties of individual fetal membrane components (amnion, chorion), determine the sequence of events during the fetal membrane rupture process, and demonstrate that treatment of fetal membranes with TNF or IL-1beta, in vitro, induces weakness and the identical biochemical markers of collagen remodeling and apoptosis seen in the physiological weak zone. The ability to simultaneously correlate macroscopic physical properties with histological and biochemical fetal membrane characteristics, presents a unique perspective on the physiology of fetal membrane rupture.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The etiology of fetal membrane (FM) rupture is unknown. A hypothesis that the FM weakens by a process of collagen remodeling and apoptosis to facilitate rupture has been proposed. Human FMs reportedly exhibit a zone of altered histology, postulated to be the FM rupture site, but concomitant FM weakness has not been demonstrated. We hypothesized that a discrete zone of FM with marked weakness, histological change, and evidence of remodeling and apoptosis, develops in late gestation in the FM overlying the cervix. FM tissue from women undergoing prelabor cesarean delivery were perioperatively marked to identify the FM overlying the cervix, cut with a procedure that facilitates remapping the rupture strength of FM pieces to their former location and orientation on a three-dimensional model, and tested for strength. A 10-cm FM zone centered at the cervical mark was compared with the remaining FM. Mean rupture strength within the cervical zone was 55% of the remaining FM. The cervical zone also exhibited increased MMP-9 protein, decreased tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3) protein, and increased PARP cleavage coincident with the previously reported zone of altered histology. A discrete zone of weakness is present in term prelabor FMs overlying the cervix and has biochemical characteristics consistent with tissue remodeling and apoptosis.
Biology of Reproduction 04/2005; 72(3):720-6. · 4.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to investigate the effect of hydrogen peroxide (HP), a reactive oxygen species, and vitamin C, an antioxidant, on apoptosis and prostaglandin (PGE(2)) release in human amnion epithelial and mesenchymal cells, and intact amnion. Amnion cells and explants were incubated with and without HP and vitamin C. Cytoproliferation assay for viability, DNA fragmentation and PARP cleavage for apoptosis, EIA for PGE(2), and western blots for cyclooxygenases (COX) were performed. In amnion cells and explants, HP (0-5 mm) induced dose dependent apoptosis as per DNA fragmentation and PARP cleavage. HP (0-0.5 mm) also induced PGE(2)release concomitant with apoptosis in both cell types. In amnion explants, HP (0-10 mm) induced COX-2 protein and PGE(2)release concomitant with apoptosis. Vitamin C (0.01-10 mm), alone, enhanced epithelial but inhibited mesenchymal cell viability. It induced PGE(2)release in amnion explants. Vitamin C (1 mm) failed to inhibit HP induced apoptosis, but instead exacerbated it in epithelial and mesenchymal cells, and amnion explants. Vitamin C (0-10 mm) enhanced HP induced PGE(2)in mesenchymal cells. HP induces concomitant apoptosis and PGE(2)release in amnion epithelial and mesenchymal cells, and in intact amnion explants. HP induced apoptosis is not inhibited but enhanced by vitamin C.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been identified as a potential cause of remodelling and apoptotic change in fetal membrane. Vitamin C has been suggested as a therapeutic agent to prevent ROS induced chorio-amnion apoptosis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether hydrogen peroxide (HP), a ROS, initiates apoptosis in the WISH cell model and whether vitamin C would inhibit HP induced apoptosis. HP induced apoptosis in WISH cells; as assessed by cytochrome-c release from mitochondria, Poly-(ADP-ribose)-Polymerase (PARP) cleavage, nuclear matrix protein (NMP) release and DNA fragmentation analysis. HP induced dose dependent release of cytochrome-c, PARP cleavage, NMP release, and DNA fragmentation. HP also increased PGE(2)release in parallel with apoptosis in WISH cells, in a manner similar to that reported with other apoptotic agents. Vitamin C pre-incubation caused cytochrome-c release earlier, and at lower HP doses, than HP alone. It had no effect on HP induced PARP cleavage, but enhanced DNA fragmentation, and induced NMP release on its own. Vitamin C partially suppressed dose dependent HP induced PGE(2)release. We conclude that HP causes apoptosis in WISH cells and vitamin C pre-incubation does not inhibit, and may accelerate and exacerbate, HP induced apoptosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Foetal membrane rupture is thought to follow from gene-controlled tissue remodelling and apoptosis. We reported previously that staurosporine, cycloheximide, actinomycin D, as well as more physiological apoptotic agents (lactosylceramide, 15d-PGJ(2)) increase prostaglandin release in parallel with induction of apoptosis in WISH and amnion epithelial cells. Also, inhibition of prostaglandin release by cyclooxygenase inhibitors or PKA activators is accompanied by a parallel decrease in apoptosis. We hypothesize that amnion prostaglandin metabolism is linked with apoptosis in amnion epithelial cells and thus to membrane rupture. Amnion mesenchymal cells are also critical for membrane integrity. Their susceptibility to apoptotic agents is unknown and is the subject of this report. In amnion epithelial cells, lactosylceramide (125 microM) induced 6.5-fold, 20-fold increases in PGE(2) and NMP production (apoptosis), respectively. Conversely, in mesenchymal cells, lactosylceramide doses up to 200 microM had no effect on PGE(2) or NMP release. In both cell types, incubation with 15d-PGJ(2) (5-100 microM) demonstrated dose and time dependent increases in PGE(2) and NMP. PKA activators inhibited 15d-PGJ(2) induced PGE(2) release and apoptotis in epithelial cells, but not in mesenchymal cells, however. Major amnion cell types have different sensitivities to physiological apoptotic agents. Prostaglandin release occurs coincident with apoptosis in both amnion epithelial and mesenchymal cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Newborn infants are vitamin K deficient. Vitamin K status in full-term infants after intramuscular vitamin K supplementation at birth has been described. Similar information in growing premature infants has not been reported. The objective of this study was to assess vitamin K status in premature infants by measuring plasma vitamin K and plasma protein-induced in vitamin K absence (PIVKA II) from birth until 40 weeks' postconceptional age.
Premature infants (</=36 weeks' gestation) were divided at birth into groups by gestational age (group 1, </=28 weeks; group 2, 29-32 weeks; group 3, 33-36 weeks). Supplemental vitamin K (1 mg intramuscularly) was administered at birth followed by 60 microg/day (weight <1000 g) or 130 microg/day (weight >/=1000 g) via total parenteral nutrition. After hyperalimentation, most received vitamin K-fortified enteral feedings with the remainder receiving unfortified breast milk. Blood was obtained for PIVKA II in cord blood and for PIVKA II and vitamin K at 2 weeks and 6 weeks after birth and at 40 weeks' postconception.
Of the 44 infants enrolled, 10 infants in each gestational age group completed the study. The patient characteristics for groups 1, 2, and 3 were as follows: gestational age, 26.3 +/- 1.7, 30.3 +/- 1.3, and 33.9 +/- 1.1 weeks; birth weight, 876 +/- 176, 1365 +/- 186, and 1906 +/- 163 g; and days of hyperalimentation, 28.9 +/- 16, 16.8 +/- 12, and 4.3 +/- 4 days, respectively. At 2 weeks of age, the vitamin K intake and plasma levels were highest in group 1 versus group 3 (intake: 71.2 +/- 39.6 vs 13.4 +/- 16.3 microg/kg/day; plasma levels: 130.7 +/- 125.6 vs 27.2 +/- 24.4 ng/mL). By 40 weeks' postconception, the vitamin K intake and plasma levels were similar in all 3 groups (group 1, 2, and 3: intake, 11.4 +/- 2.5, 15.4 +/- 6.0, and 10.0 +/- 7.0 microg/kg/day; plasma level, 5.4 +/- 3.8, 5.9 +/- 3.9, and 9.3 +/- 8.5 ng/mL). None of the postnatal plasma samples had any detectable PIVKA II.
Premature infants at 2 weeks of age have high plasma vitamin K levels compared with those at 40 weeks' postconceptional age secondary to the parenteral administration of large amounts of vitamin K. By 40 weeks' postconception, these values are similar to those in term formula-fed infants. Confirming "adequate vitamin K status," PIVKA II was undetectable by 2 weeks of life in all of the premature infants. With the potential for unforeseen consequences of high vitamin K levels, consideration should be given to reducing the amount of parenteral vitamin K supplementation in the first few weeks of life in premature infants.vitamin K, PIVKA II, premature, total parenteral nutrition, enteral nutrition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pregnancy can influence both the resting membrane potential and the ion channel composition of the uterine myometrium. Calcium flux is essential for excitation-contraction coupling in pregnant uterus. The uterine L-type calcium channel is an important component in mediating calcium flux and is purported to play a role in parturition. This study was undertaken to characterize gestational changes in 1) the uterine contractile response to the L-type calcium channel agonist, Bay K 8644; 2) the mRNA expression of channel subunits by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; and 3) estimate channel protein levels by measuring (3)H-isradipine binding at the dihydropyridine binding site of the alpha(1c) subunit utilizing saturation binding methods. Sensitivity to Bay K 8644 increases beginning at 0.8 of gestation and persists through term. The change in sensitivity is coincident with an increased mRNA expression of the alpha(1c) and beta(2) subunits but with the least detectable amounts of isradipine binding. The expressed alpha(1c) transcript represents a novel structural variant with a 118-amino acid deletion in the III-IV linker and repeats IVS1-S3 of the protein sequence. The guinea pig uterine L-type calcium channel activity is highly regulated through gestation, but the regulation of mRNA expression may be different from regulation of protein levels, estimated by isradipine binding. The up-regulation of function, alpha(1c) subunit mRNA expression, and isradipine binding at term gestation are consistent with a role for this ion channel in parturition.
Biology of Reproduction 12/2000; 63(5):1262-70. · 4.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Normative data for hematologic values in the very low birth weight infants are limited and inconsistent, with the reported mean hematocrit (HCT) in these infants ranging from 43.5% to 60%. No data are available on the effect of race.
To establish normative data for hemoglobin (Hb) and HCT by arterial sampling obtained during the first 3 hours after birth in black and white premature infants </=31 weeks of gestation.
Retrospective chart review of all infants </= 31 weeks of gestation born between June 1994 and October 1998. Inclusion criteria: infant </=31 weeks of gestation who had an arterial blood sample obtained in the first 3 hours after birth. Exclusion criteria: infants were excluded if they had any medical condition that may affect the red blood cell indices (eg, twin-to-twin transfusion or fetomaternal hemorrhage).
Of 428 infants, 188 who met both inclusion and exclusion criteria were classified into 3 gestational age groups: group 1 = 23 to 25 weeks of gestation (n = 40); group 2 = 26 to 28 weeks (n = 60); and group 3 = 29 to 31 weeks (n = 88). There were statistically significant differences between groups 1 and 3 in HCT, Hb, mean corpuscular Hb (MCH), and mean corpuscular volume (MCV). No differences in HCT and Hb values were noted in relation to sex, mode of delivery, multiple gestation, antenatal steroids, or maternal smoking. In group 3, the mean Hb, HCT, and MCV values were higher in white infants than in black infants (16.7 +/- 1.6 g/dL vs 15.4 +/- 1. 7 g/dL; 50.0 +/- 5.0 vs 45.5 +/- 4.6; and 112 +/- 5 fL vs 107 +/- 8 fL, respectively).
Hb, HCT, and MCH values are described for premature infants </=31 weeks of gestation born in North America. Hb and HCT increased, whereas MCV decreased with gestational age. Hb, HCT, and MCV values are statistically higher in white infants than in black infants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a preterm infant with marked motor automatism and skin manifestations after being exposed to fluoxetine in utero. The fluoxetine level drawn at 96 hours of age was 92 ng/ml, which was in adult therapeutic range. The neurologic symptoms resolved by 7 days and follow-up at 4 months revealed normal neurodevelopmental examination.
Journal of Perinatology 01/2000; 20(7):445-6. · 2.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effect of weekly telephone contact with families in enhancing the use of home apnea monitors.
This was a prospective, randomized, single-blinded study of 65 infants who were prescribed home apnea monitoring at the time of initial discharge from the hospital. Exclusion criteria included participation in any other study involving home monitoring or nonavailability of home telephone. Infants were randomized either to the "standard" or "telephone" group by a stratified balanced block technique. All families were instructed to use the monitor during the first 4-week period at all times except during bathing and during the second 4-week period at all unattended times and at night. The families in the telephone group were contacted weekly for 8 weeks. The telephone interview reviewed the events of the previous week but did not include specific encouragement to use the monitor. Both groups received routine pediatric care and follow-up at our high-risk premature clinic. The primary outcome measure was compliance measured as the percentage of time as well as the hours per day that the infant spent on the monitor as recorded by the documented monitor.
The telephone (n = 30) and standard (n = 32) groups were similar (p > 0.10) with respect to birth weight (1567 +/- 778 versus 1710 +/- 777 gm), gestational age (30.9 +/- 4.2 versus 31.1 +/- 4.6 weeks), maternal age (24.9 +/- 6.0 versus 25.3 +/- 5.4 years), and commercial insurance (46.7% versus 46.9%), a marker of higher socioeconomic status. Compliance of the telephone versus the standard group was similar during the first 4-week period (74.7 +/- 24.9 versus 75 +/- 27.8%, p = 0.85) (17.9 +/- 5.9 versus 18.2 +/- 6.6 hours/day), the second 4 week period (63.4 +/- 29.1 versus 58.9 +/- 30.9%, p = 0.59) (15.2 +/- 7.0 versus 14.1 +/- 7.4 hours/day) and the entire 8-week period (69.3 +/- 24.7 versus 67.7 +/- 26.2%, p = 0.82, Mann-Whitney U-test) (16.7 +/- 6.0 versus 16.1 +/- 6.5 hours/day), respectively. An abnormal pneumocardiogram at the time of discharge was the only identified factor that improved the compliance for the entire 8-week period (73.1 +/- 22 versus 52.1 +/- 28.5%, p = 0.02) (17.5 +/- 5.2 versus 12.5 +/- 6.8 hours/day) and the first 4-week period of monitoring (81.7 +/- 22.9 versus 59.5 +/- 31.3%, p = 0.01) (19.6 +/- 5.5 versus 14.2 +/- 7.5 hours/day).
Weekly telephone contact, without specific encouragement to use the monitor, did not improve compliance. Compliance was greater in subjects who had abnormal pneumocardiogram results at the time of discharge from hospital regardless of their telephone/standard group assignment. We speculate that in this already compliant population, more targeted advice is necessary to increase compliance.
Journal of Perinatology 01/1999; 19(7):505-9. · 2.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apoptosis is a process by which external or developmental factors induce a specific series of events leading to cell death. Recently, apoptotic cells have been described in rat amnion membrane at late gestation, suggesting apoptosis may be involved in membrane rupture. Mechanisms controlling amnion cell apoptosis are unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate whether cyclooxygenase and prostaglandins are integral to apoptosis in amnion, as reported in intestinal epithelial cells and renal mesangial cells. Amnion-derived WISH cells underwent apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner after incubation with actinomycin D, cycloheximide, or staurosporine, as determined by cell viability, DNA fragmentation analysis, and fluorescent in situ fragmentation analysis. Cells cultured with increasing doses of these agents also demonstrated concomitant increases in prostaglandin E2 output. WISH cell coincubation with these agents and the cyclooxygenase inhibitors indomethacin or piroxicam resulted in dose-dependent decreases in both prostaglandin E2 and apoptosis. Cultures incubated with 0.5 microgram/mL actinomycin D showed 80.7% cell apoptosis after 12 hours compared with 1.1% in untreated cultures. After 24 hours incubation with actinomycin D, 0.8% of the original cell number remained attached to the plate. In cultures coincubated with 0.5 microgram/mL actinomycin D and 100 mumol/L indomethacin, only 19.2%, 24.7%, and 39.3% of the cells were found to be apoptotic after 12, 24, and 48 hours in culture, respectively. Similar trends were observed after the use of cycloheximide or staurosporine in combination with indomethacin or prioxicam. These data suggest that cyclooxygenase and/or prostaglandins play a role in programmed cell death of amnion-derived WISH cells in culture.
Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation 01/1999; 6(5):245-51. · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have examined the repertoire and relative expression levels of voltage-gated K+ channels in timed-pregnant rat uteri. These studies have revealed the gestation-specific and abundant expression of mRNA encoding an inwardly rectifying K+ channel, ROMK (originally identified in renal outer medulla), within the gravid uterus. Steady-state levels of ROMK transcripts undergo dynamic gestational changes: they are undetectable in virgin uteri, reach a maximum level by Day 12 of gestation, decline thereafter until, by term, they are again undetectable. Kidney cells also express ROMK transcripts at high levels but do not undergo apparent changes during gestation. Molecular analyses (by "rapid amplification of cDNA ends", or "5'-RACE") of the ROMK mRNAs revealed the presence of two alternative-splicing variants which are likely to arise from distinct transcription-start sites within the same gene. Polymerase chain reaction-based assessments of gravid uteri from other species revealed the expression of ROMK transcripts in the myometrium as well. Uterine expression of ROMK therefore represents a generalized phenomenon, characterized by both gestation- and tissue-specific regulation, and the transcription-regulatory mechanisms of this channel protein are potentially complex. From the biophysical properties of this channel in vitro and the observed gestational profile, we hypothesize that this channel modulates both the resting membrane potential and cellular excitability of myometrial cells, and in turn contributes to the observed contractile quiescence of the gravid uterus.
Proceedings of The Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 11/1997; 216(1):57-64.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This report examines the effect of cell volume expansion on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA expression, COX-2 protein expression, and prostaglandin E2 release from human amnion-derived WISH cells. Earle's balanced salts solution (EBSS) with limited NaCl concentration was utilized as the induction medium. COX-2 mRNA was elevated 6-fold in cells incubated for 1 h in hypotonic EBSS. COX-2 mRNA expression was not increased when raffinose or sucrose were used to reconstitute low NaCl. Actinomycin D blocked COX-2 mRNA increase by hypotonic stress, while cycloheximide enhanced COX-2 mRNA expression. COX-2 mRNA and protein concentrations increased as a function of decreasing media osmolarity and incubation time in hypotonic EBSS. Hypotonic EBSS induced a 3-fold increase in prostaglandin E2 release. WISH cells transiently transfected with a luciferase expression vector driven by the human COX-2 promoter for the COX-2 gene show a 3-fold increase in luciferase activity when incubated in hypotonic EBSS. COX-2 mRNA levels in primary human amnion cells were also increased by hypotonic stress. This study suggests that amnion cell COX-2 gene expression is regulated by cell volume expansion and/or increased plasma membrane tension.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/1997; 272(32):20118-24. · 4.65 Impact Factor