Discovery and Characterization of Human Amniochorionic Membrane Microfractures

Lauren Richardson, Gracie Vargas, Tyra Brown, Lorenzo Ochoa, Samantha Sheller-Miller, George Saade, Robert N. Taylor, Ramkumar Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study obtained visual evidence of novel cellular and extracellular matrix–level structural alterations in term and preterm human fetal amniochorionic membranes. Amniochorions were collected from term cesarean (not in labor) or vaginal (labor) deliveries, preterm premature rupture of membranes, and spontaneous preterm birth. To determine the effect of oxidative stress on membranes at term or preterm labor, term not in labor samples in an organ explant culture in vitro were exposed to cigarette smoke extract. Tissues were imaged using multiphoton autofluorescence and second harmonic generation microscopy. Images were analyzed using ImageJ and IMARIS software. Three-dimensional microscopic analysis of membranes revealed microfractures that were characterized by amnion cell puckering, basement membrane degradation, and tunnels that extended into the collagen matrix with migrating cells. Numbers of microfractures were similar at term regardless of labor status; however, morphometric measures (width and depth) were higher in term labor membranes. Oxidative stress induced higher numbers of microfractures in term not in labor membranes, with morphometry resembling that seen in term labor membranes. Preterm premature rupture of the membranes had the highest number of microfractures compared to membranes from term and other preterm births. Microfractures are structural alterations indicative of areas of tissue remodeling during gestation. Their increase at preterm and in response to oxidative stress may indicate failure to reseal, predisposing membranes to rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2821-2830
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume187
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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Stress Fractures
Membranes
Oxidative Stress
Premature Birth
Extraembryonic Membranes
Amnion
Premature Obstetric Labor
Organ Culture Techniques
Basement Membrane
Smoke
Tobacco Products
Rupture
Microscopy
Collagen
Software
Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Discovery and Characterization of Human Amniochorionic Membrane Microfractures. / Richardson, Lauren; Vargas, Gracie; Brown, Tyra; Ochoa, Lorenzo; Sheller-Miller, Samantha; Saade, George; Taylor, Robert N.; Menon, Ramkumar.

In: American Journal of Pathology, Vol. 187, No. 12, 01.12.2017, p. 2821-2830.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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