Preterm labour is a major problem in obstetrics. Timely intervention with available treatments is hampered by the lack of a reliable test of imminent preterm delivery. Current methods of diagnosis are based on the detection of breakdown products of foetal membranes or structural changes to the cervix when preterm labour is well established. The aim of this study was to screen the cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) proteome to identify labour-associated proteins that could be used as markers of imminent preterm delivery. Labour was induced in sheep at 135 days of gestation (term 147 days) by foetal infusion of dexamethasone (1 mg/24 h). CVF samples were collected before and 28 h after the start of infusion as well as at delivery (58.7 +/- 1.9 after the start of infusion, n = 5). One protein that was upregulated eight-fold, was bactenecin-1, a member of the cathelicidin family of antimicrobial proteins. This antimicrobial protein warrants further investigation as a marker of preterm labour, particularly during the period after the initiation of labour but before there is marked cervical connective tissue breakdown.
|Pages (from-to)||281 - 288|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|