Research ArticleReproductive Biology

Reversible EMT and MET mediate amnion remodeling during pregnancy and labor

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Science Signaling  11 Feb 2020:
Vol. 13, Issue 618, eaay1486
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aay1486

Remodeling the amnion

During pregnancy, the amniotic membrane undergoes growth, repair, and remodeling processes that depend on epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the reverse, MET. The membrane normally weakens just before parturition; aberrant weakening can lead to premature rupture. Richardson et al. found that amnions from mice and human term births exhibited increased EMT compared to amnions before the onset of labor and that oxidative stress stimulated EMT in preterm amnions. Oxidative stress and transforming growth factor–β (TGF-β), which are increased at the end of pregnancy, promoted EMT, whereas the pregnancy maintenance hormone P4 promoted MET. The authors propose that balanced EMT and MET maintain amnion homeostasis until the accumulation of oxidative stress and inflammatory factors trigger irreversible EMT, amnion weakening, and membrane rupture at parturition.

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