Prokineticin 1 induces inflammatory response in human myometrium: a potential role in initiating term and preterm parturition

Marta R Gorowiec, Rob D Catalano, Jane E Norman, Fiona C Denison, Henry N Jabbour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The infiltration of human myometrium and cervix with leukocytes and the formation of a pro-inflammatory environment within the uterus have been associated with the initiation of both term and preterm parturition. The mechanism regulating the onset of this pro-inflammatory cascade is not fully elucidated. We demonstrate that prokineticin 1 (PROK1) is up-regulated in human myometrium and placenta during labor. The expression of PROK1 receptor remains unchanged during labor and is abundantly expressed in the myometrium. Gene array analysis identified 65 genes up-regulated by PROK1 in human myometrium, mainly cytokines and chemokines, including IL-1β, chemokine C-C motif ligand 3, and colony-stimulating factor 3. In addition, we demonstrate that PROK1 increases the expression of chemokine C-C motif ligand 20, IL-6, IL-8, prostaglandin synthase 2, and prostaglandin E(2) and F(2α) secretion. The treatment of myometrial explants with 100 ng/mL of lipopolysaccharide up-regulates the expression of PROK1, PROK1 receptor, and inflammatory mediators. The infection of myometrial explants with lentiviral microRNA targeting PROK1, preceding treatment with lipopolysaccharide, reduces the expression of inflammatory genes. We propose that PROK1 is a novel inflammatory mediator that can contribute to the onset of human parturition at term and partially mediate premature onset of inflammatory pathways during bacterial infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2709-2719
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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