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Title: The biological control of cervical ripening
Author: Barclay, Cameron G.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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A cell culture system was developed to study the production of prostaglandins by cervical cells from late pregnant guinea pigs. This permitted the examination of the influence of various substances on the synthesis of the prostaglandins, including progesterone and the anti-progesterone drug RU486 (Mifepristone/RU38486). RU486 has been found to promote cervical ripening in humans and guinea pigs. It is thought to increase the sensitivity of the uterus to prostaglandins and thereby promote muscle activity. It is licensed in the United Kingdom as an abortifacient. Since this antiprogestin can provoke cervical ripening alone an accessible source of tissue from an animal with a similar physiology to the human seemed to be an appropriate starting point from which to investigate the effects of this steroidal derivative and how it may affect prostaglandin production. The results show that prostaglandin output can be provoked in vitro by agents such as lipopolysaccharide and phorbol ester. The observed effects by RU486 were mixed. Giving the animals examined, there were, however, some instances where a significant increase was detected, apparently associated with the calcium ionophore A23187, and others where there appeared to be a reduction. The inclusion of RU486 in the culture medium with other treatments did not produce any significant differences compared to the treatment on its own, and alone RU486 only produced a significant difference where the animal had been given the drug in vivo.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available