Smoking alters hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase expression in fetal membranes

Rachel Ion*, Claire Hudson, Jason Johnson, Wei Yuan, Kate Heesom, Andrés López Bernal

*Corresponding author for this work

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

1 Citation (Scopus)
285 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: The way in which tobacco smoking increases the risk of preterm labor remains uncertain. Altered prostaglandin metabolism is one potential mechanism. Methods: Proteins in fetal membrane samples (amniochoriodecidua) from 20 women were relatively quantified using Tandem Mass Tagging nano-liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Results: Prostaglandin synthases and two enzymes involved in prostaglandin degradation, hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (HPGD) and CBR1, were detected by the mass spectrometer. The expression of HPGD was significantly lower in smokers relative to non-smokers (0.43 fold, p = 0.016). There was no effect of labor, inflammatory status or gestational age on the HPGD levels. Discussion: We describe for the first time an association between maternal smoking and HPGD expression. We propose that reduced expression of HPGD is one mechanism through which smoking may contribute to preterm labor. Lower levels of this enzyme, key to metabolising prostaglandins, may result in higher levels of prostaglandins and therefore precipitate labor prematurely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Early online date21 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Uterine proteome
  • Prematurity
  • Smoking
  • Labor
  • Birth
  • Pregnancy
  • Fetal membranes


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