Diversity in cytokine response to bacteria associated with preterm birth by fetal membranes

Ramkumar Menon, Morgan R. Peltier, Judith Eckardt, Stephen J. Fortunato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Objective: This study compared cytokine and prostaglandin (PG) responses by fetal membranes stimulated with 4 different bacterial species associated with preterm birth (PTB). Study Design: Fetal membranes (n = 13 from normal term cesarean sections [not in labor]) in an organ explant system were stimulated with heat-killed Ureaplasma parvum, Gardanerella vaginalis, Escherichia coli, group B Streptococcus (GBS), or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, and interferon-γ) and PG (PGF and PGE2) concentrations were quantitated and compared. Results: LPS and E coli increased all cytokine and PG productions compared with controls. Cytokine profiles were similar after G vaginalis and GBS stimulation. G vaginalis increased PGE2, whereas GBS increased PGF. U parvum demonstrated the mildest response with only IL-10 and TNF-α concentrations being higher with no detectible effect on PGs. Conclusion: Fetal membrane cytokine signatures of 4 different bacteria associated with PTB are distinct, suggesting that infection as a potential cause of PTB is not homogeneous in its presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306.e1-306.e6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • amniochorion
  • inflammation
  • intraamniotic infection
  • preterm birth
  • prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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