• TNF-α;
  • TNFR;
  • amniochorion;
  • preterm labor;
  • cytokines

PROBLEM: Preterm labor and PROM are major complications of pregnancy. We have reported the possible role of amniochorionic membrane as it relates to the production of cytokines and the early onset of labor. Amniochorion is capable of responding to an infectious process with the production of IL-6 and IL-1β. Here we examine the expression of TNF-α and TNFR in amniochorion.

METHOD: Amniochorionic membranes were collected and maintained in an organ explant system. Samples were frozen and/or fixed for RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunocytochemistry.

RESULTS: RT-PCR demonstrated mRNA for TNF-α and in situ hybridization localized mRNA in chorion and amnion. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated TNF-α peptide in amnion but not in chorion. Immunocytochemical localization of TNFR indicates presence of that peptide in both amnion and chorion.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the fetal membranes are sources of TNF-α and TNFR, supporting our previous work indicating that fetal membranes are active participants in the response to intraamniotic infection.