Inflammatory cytokine (interleukins 1, 6, and 8 and tumor necrosis factor-α) release from cultured human fetal membranes in response to endotoxic lipopolysaccharide mirrors amniotic fluid concentrations

S. J. Fortunato, R. P. Menon, K. F. Swan, R. Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

116 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to quantitate and compare the amount of cytokines released from human fetal membranes in response to treatment with bacterial lipopolysaccharide and to compare this with amniotic fluid levels. STUDY DESIGN: Amniochorionic membranes were collected from women undergoing elective repeat cesarean section and showing no signs of infection- or pregnancy-related complications. Membranes were maintained in an organ explant system and stimulated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide for 24 hours. Media samples were collected and stored at -20° C until cytokine levels were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: Enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay results demonstrated that lipopolysaccharide stimulated production of interleukins 1, 6, and 8 and tumor necrosis factor- α by the fetal membranes in comparison with the control cultures. A greater release of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 compared with interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α was noticed. The relationships between cytokine concentrations observed in culture mirror those seen in amniotic fluid. CONCLUSION: Amniochorionic membranes can respond to an infectious process with increased secretion of interleukins 1, 6, and 8 and tumor necrosis factor-α. Cytokines produced from both amnion and chorion (interleukin-6 and interleukin-8) are released in greater quantities than those cytokines produced from chorion or amnion alone (interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α). These studies support a major role for amnion in infection- induced preterm labor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1855-1862
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes



  • Cytokines
  • amniotic fluid
  • pregnancy
  • preterm labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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