IL-1β and IL-8 in Human Fetal Membranes: Changes with Gestational Age, Labor, and Culture Conditions


Address reprint requests to Catherine Elliott, IRDB, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 ONN.



PROBLEM: Interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-8 are associated with labor. This study aimed to characterize their concentrations in fetal membranes and any changes in these with advancing gestation and to define as to whether there are interactions between the membranes in their expression.
METHOD OF STUDY: mRNA and protein content of amnion and choriodecidua at increasing gestations and before and after labor at term were quantified. Membranes were also collected before and after labor, separated, and cultured. Protein production was measured by ELISA.
RESULTS: IL-1β and IL-8 concentration increased in third trimester amnion and choriodecidua. Further increased expression of mRNA of both cytokines was found after labor in both membranes except IL-8 production by amnion. Choriodecidua produced more of each cytokine than amnion, however, no interaction between the membranes was demonstrated by culture.
CONCLUSIONS: Increasing expression of IL-1β and IL-8 in amnion and choriodecidua in the third trimester and after labor supports a role for these cytokines in the establishment of labor.