Prokineticin 1 induces a pro-inflammatory response in murine fetal membranes but does not induce preterm delivery

T. R. M. Lannagan, M. R. Wilson, F. Denison, J. E. Norman, R. D. Catalano, H. N. Jabbour

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


The mechanisms that regulate the induction of term or preterm delivery (PTD) are not fully understood. Infection is known to play a role in the induction of pro-inflammatory cascades in uteroplacental tissues associated with preterm pathological parturition. Similar but not identical cascades are evident in term labour. In the current study, we used a mouse model to evaluate the role of prokineticins in term and preterm parturition. Prokineticins are multi-functioning secreted proteins that signal through G-protein-coupled receptors to induce gene expression, including genes important in inflammatory responses. Expression of prokineticins (Prok1 and Prok2) was quantified in murine uteroplacental tissues by QPCR in the days preceding labour (days 16–19). Prok1 mRNA expression increased significantly on D18 in fetal membranes (compared with D16) but not in uterus or placenta. Intrauterine injection of PROK1 on D17 induced fetal membrane mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory mediators Il6, Il1b, Tnf, Cxcl2 and Cxcl5, which are not normally up-regulated until D19 of pregnancy. However, intrauterine injection of PROK1 did not result in PTD. As expected, injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced PTD, but this was not associated with changes in expression of Prok1 or its receptor (Prokr1) in fetal membranes. These results suggest that although Prok1 exhibits dynamic mRNA regulation in fetal membranes preceding labour and induces a pro-inflammatory response when injected into the uterus on D17, it is insufficient to induce PTD. Additionally, prokineticin up-regulation appears not to be part of the LPS-induced inflammatory response in mouse fetal membranes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-591
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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