Gestational tissue inflammatory biomarkers at term labor: A systematic review of literature

Emily E. Hadley, Lauren S. Richardson, Maria R. Torloni, Ramkumar Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Parturition at term is characterized by inflammatory overload in both feto-maternal tissues. Despite the large number of individual studies on changes in inflammatory biomarkers linked to labor, a comprehensive profile of them in each of the uterine compartments is not available to better understand their mechanistic contributions to labor. This systematic review investigated the pro- and anti-inflammatory biomarkers reported in intra-uterine tissues (amnion, chorion, decidua, placenta, and myometrium) at term labor. We conducted a systematic review of studies on pro- and anti-inflammatory biomarkers (mRNA and/or protein) reported in feto-maternal tissues during normal human term labor, published in English (1980-2016), in 3 electronic data bases. From a total of 3712 citations, 172 were included for final review. Each tissue expresses a unique set of biomarkers at the time of term labor, but there is significant overlap between tissues. All tissues had IL-6, IL-8, IL-1β, COX-2, PGE-2, TNF-α, and hCAP18 in common at term labor. Common and unique inflammatory biomarkers are expressed in various feto-maternal compartments at term labor. Increase in pro-inflammatory markers in all gestational tissue signifies their harmonious functional role in promoting labor. Anti-inflammatory markers at term labor are hardly reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12776
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • decidua
  • fetal membranes
  • inflammation
  • myometrium
  • placenta
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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