Endocrinology of human parturition

S. Vannuccini, C. Bocchi, F.M. Severi, John Challis, F. Petraglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. The mechanisms involved in human pregnancy maintenance and parturition are highly complex and involve mother, fetus and placenta. The "final common pathway" to delivery is composed by inflammatory and endocrine interactive paths that tip the balance in favor of coordinated uterine contractility and cervical dilation. These mechanisms involve a shift from progesterone to estrogen dominance, CRH action, increased sensitivity to oxytocin, gap junction formation, and increased prostaglandins activity. Complementary changes in the cervix involve a decrease in progesterone dominance and the actions of prostaglandins and relaxin, via connective tissue alterations, leading to cervical softening and dilation. Neuronal, hormonal, inflammatory and immune pathways participate in initiation of labor and the utero-placental unit plays a major role in the synthesis and release of parturition mediators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalAnnales d'Endocrinologie
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


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