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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 1999;42(4):784-789.
Published online January 1, 2001.
Expression of Cyclooxygenase-1, -2 in Human Uterine Cervix of Preterm and Term Pregnancies.
Haeng Soo Kim, Myung Shin Kim, Hyun Won Yang, Jeong In Yang, Eun Joo Ahn, Kie Suk Oh
The purpose of this study was to determine whether cyclooxygenase [COX]-1 and COX-2 are expressed in the pregnant human uterine cervix and if they are expressed differentially between preterm and term pregnancies. METHODS: Fourteen patients delivered between 29 and 41 weeks of gestation were matched for obstetrical history and maternal age were divided into a preterm group who delivered between 29 and 36 weeks [n=7], and a term group who delivered between 37 and 41 weeks of gestation [n=7]. Immediately after vaginal delivery cervical biopsy samples were obtained and immunohistochemicaly stained for COX-1 and COX-2 and the degree of staining was evaluated by H-scoring system. RESULTS: Expression of COX-1 and COX-2 was found in all epithelial and stromal cells of uterine cervical tissues of pregnancy. The expression of COX-1 and COX-2 was significantly stronger in the term group compared to the preterm group in epithelial cells [HSCORE : 2.14+/-0.69 vs. 1.14+/-0.38 ; 3.71+/-0.76 vs. 1.86+/-0.90, p<0.05], but there was no significant differences in stromal cells [HSCORE : 3.43+/-0.53 vs. 2.86+/-0.38 ; 2.43+/-0.53 vs. 2.57+/-0.98, p>0.05]. CONCLUSION: In the pregnant human uterine cervix, COX-1 and COX-2 are found to be expressed, and both are strongly expressed in the cervical epithelial cells of term pregnancies compared to preterm pregnancies. It is suggested that the uterine cervix, under the control of prostaglandins, is actively involved in the process of labor, and that the role of COX-2 in epithelium is particularly significant in term pregnancies compared to preterm pregnancies.
Key Words: Cyclooxygenase-1, cyclooxygenase-2, uterine cervix, pregnancy

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