NUI Galway NBIPI cmi

Studies on the Human Myometrium

Increased rates of dysfunctional uterine contractility, miscarriage, postpartum haemorrhage and 2-3 fold increased rates of emergency (Morrison et al, 2008) and elective caesarean section are associated with maternal obesity. This implicates maternal obesity in having an inhibitory effect on myometrial function. Our hypothesis states that there are structural, functional, endocrine or glycosylation differences in the myometrium of obese women compared to tissues from women of normal BMI and that these contribute to the observed dysfunctional contraction of this tissue during partiuition. Our research aims to investigate the effect of maternal obesity on the structure and function of uterine myometrium by examining biopsies harvested during caesarean section procedures carried out on obese and non-obese women. Leptin concentrations levels are in proportion to body fat percentage, the role this peptide plays in pregnancy and birth is not fully understood. Published reports from Prof. Morrison's group in 2006 have reported an inhibitory effect of leptin on myometrial contraction. Krizova et al, 2004 have reported an increase in serum leptin levels during pregnancy and a decrease at the time of parturition. As a result of these findings it is thought that leptin may modulate myometrial function and activity. In this work we plan to examine and compare leptin receptor expression in myometrium from obese and non-obese donors.immunofluorescent staining of myometrium

This image shows smooth muscle fibers cut in cross section with the cell membrane delineated with the anti-leptin receptor fluorescent probe. (Click to show large image). Immunofluorescent staining of cryopreserved sections of myometrium, leptin receptor (green) and the cell nucleus (blue). Image taken using structured light illumination (optigrid system) with 60x oil objective (projected image of z-stack)

Eva Sweeney Anatomy School of Medicine.