Effects of mifepristone in vivo on decidual prostaglandin synthesis and metabolism

J. E. Norman, W. X. Wu, R. W. Kelly, A. F. Glasier, A. S. McNeilly, D. T. Baird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Mifepristone is an effective abortifacient in combination with an exogenous prostaglandin but its mechanism of action is unknown. Mifepristone stimulates prostaglandin production from decidua in tissue culture. To determine whether this effect also operates in vivo, we treated women with mifepristone 24, 36 and 48 hours prior to surgical termination. Decidua was removed at operation and the ability of the tissue to generate prostaglandin in culture subsequently assessed. Pretreatment with mifepristone 36 hours prior to termination of pregnancy resulted in an increased production of PGF2 alpha in tissue culture (p less than 0.01). A significant decrease in PGFM production was seen 24 hours after pretreatment with mifepristone in vivo (p less than 0.01). These results suggest that the increased uterine activity observed after administration of mifepristone may be due to stimulation of endogenous prostaglandin production and inhibition of prostaglandin metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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