Some mRNA concentrations are observed to increase in the maternal circulation in association with pre-eclampsia, including placenta-specific 1 (PLAC1) and pregnancy associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A), which were previously proposed as predictive markers for pre-eclampsia. Here, we investigated their concentrations in early-onset and late-onset pre-eclampsia maternal plasma to determine whether different mechanisms are involved in these two forms of the disorder.
ATP has been reported to enhance the membrane conductance of myometrial cells and uterine contractility. Purinergic P2 receptor expression has been reported in the myometrium, using molecular biology, but the functional identity of the receptor subtype has not been determined. In this study, ATP-induced currents were recorded and characterized in single myometrial cells from pregnant rats using whole cell patch clamping. Extracellular ATP was applied in the range of 10 muM-1 mM and induced currents with an EC(50) of 74 muM, with no desensitization, time dependency, or voltage dependency. The currents induced carried multiple monovalent cations, with conductances ranked as K(+) > Cs(+) > Li(+) > Na(+). They were activated by P2X receptor agonists, with their effectiveness ranked as 2,3-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl)-ATP > ATP > alphabeta-methylene-ATP > 2-methylthio ATP > or = UTP > or = GTP > ADP. These currents were blocked by the selective P2X7 receptor antagonist 3-[5-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1 H-tetrazol-1-yl]methyl pyridine (A-438079). We therefore concluded that ATP-induced currents in rat myometrial cells crossed cell membranes via P2X7 receptors. We further showed that the ATP-induced currents were blocked by extracellular Mg(2+) (IC(50) = 0.26 mM). Clinically, administering extracellular Mg(2+) is known to inhibit uterine contraction. It therefore seems likely that uterine contraction may be induced by raised extracellular ATP and suppressed via Mg(2+) inhibiting P2X7 receptors. Further research is needed into the P2X7 receptor as a therapeutic target in abnormal uterine contraction, as a possible treatment for premature labor.
This study was performed to ascertain the relationships between oral motor functions, such as those of the tongue and lips, and age in the community-dwelling elderly, as well as to investigate the effects of these factors on masticatory performance. The subjects were 268 healthy elderly Japanese living in Kyoto. They were divided into four age groups and further classified into the following two groups by the presence or absence of posterior occlusal support: Eichner A or B1-B3 (group A), and Eichner B4 or C (group B). They were wearing removable or fixed dentures if they had missing teeth. Oral function evaluation items included (1) masticatory performance and (2) oral motor skills. Significant differences were noted among the age groups in tongue pressure within group A (P < 0.01) and group B (P < 0.05), and in the number of repetitions of the syllables /ta/ and /ka/ in group B (/ta/: P < 0.05, /ka/; P < 0.01). The number of natural teeth (beta = 0.463, P < 0.001) in group A and tongue pressure (beta = 0.436, P < 0.001) in group B were the only predictors of masticatory performance when the data were analyzed by multiple regression analysis. The tongue may compensate for the missing teeth in masticatory performance of those elderly who have lost their natural teeth. The results of this study highlight the importance of tongue function in masticatory performance.
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