• Growth-regulated oncogene alpha (GROα);
  • interleukin-8 (IL-8);
  • labor;
  • preterm labor;
  • progesterone (P4)


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of mechanical stretch caused by uterine contraction and progesterone (P4) on decidual cells (DC), neutrophil chemokines, and MMP-1 expression.

Method of study

DC were cultured, and cyclic stretch was applied using a computer-operated cell stretch system. Interleukin (IL)-8, growth-regulated oncogene (GRO) α, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, and mRNA and/or protein expression/activity was measured using RT-PCR and ELISA. Neutrophil chemotactic activity in conditioned media was evaluated using migration assays. The effect of P4 was also studied.


Cyclic mechanical stretch increased IL-8, GROα, mRNA and protein, and MMP-1 production and activity level. Supernatant from stretched cells induced neutrophil chemotactic activity significantly. P4 suppressed the effect of stretch.


The current study demonstrates that cyclic mechanical stretch stimulates the production of neutrophil chemokines and MMP-1 from human decidual cells, and the production was reduced by progesterone. These findings suggest that decidual cells are responding to mechanical and endocrine signals and induce biochemical factors and thereby contribute to the regulation of human labor.