Shortening increases spontaneous contractility in myometrium from pregnant women at term

William W. Hurd, Shawn G. Gibbs, Gary Ventolini, Gary M. Horowitz, Stephen R. Guy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether shortening alters spontaneous contractility in myometrial strips that are obtained from pregnant women. Study design: Isometric contractions were measured in myometrial strips that were obtained at cesarean delivery from 14 pregnant women at term. After 2 hours of stretching, the strip lengths were decreased by 4%, 6%, or 8%. Spontaneous contractility was measured for 120 minutes with or without prostaglandin synthase inhibitor indomethacin (10-5 mol/L), and the cumulative concentration response to oxytocin was determined. Results: Contractility was increased by 29% and 34% in strips that shortened by 4% and 6%, respectively. Preincubation with indomethacin increased contractility by 15% in stretched strips and decreased contractility by 30% and 19% in 4% and 6% strips, respectively. Contraction frequency was increased by 26% and 53% for the strips that were shortened to 6% and 8%, respectively. These increases were prevented by indomethacin. The oxytocin responses were similar at all lengths. Conclusion: Shortening of myometrial strips from pregnant women at term increases spontaneous contractility by a mechanism that apparently involves prostaglandins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1301
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Mechanotransduction
  • Myometrium
  • Oxytocin
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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