Cervix Stromal Cells and the Progesterone Receptor A Isoform Mediate Effects of Progesterone for Prepartum Remodeling

Anne C. Heuerman, Trevor T. Hollinger, Ramkumar Menon, Sam Mesiano, Steven M. Yellon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The prepartum transition from a soft to ripening cervix is an inflammatory process that occurs well before birth when systemic progesterone is near peak concentration. This 2-part study first determined that stromal fibroblasts but not macrophages in the cervix have progesterone receptors (PRs). Neither the number of PR cells in cervix sections nor the relative abundance or ratio of nuclear PR isoforms (PR-A/PR-B) were diminished in mice between day 15 of pregnancy and term. Second in mice lacking PR-B (Pgrtm20mc), the number of cells that expressed the PR-A isoform were maintained during this period of prepartum cervix remodeling. Thus, progesterone effects to sustain pregnancy, as well as soften and ripen the cervix, are mediated by a stable stromal cell population that expresses PR-A and, through interactions with resident macrophages, are likely to mediate inflammatory ripening processes in preparation for birth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-696
Number of pages7
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019



  • Pgr mice
  • cervix
  • collagen degradation
  • macrophage
  • parturition
  • ripening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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