Amniotic fluid interleukin-1 in spontaneous labor at term

R. Romero, S. T. Parvizi, Enrique Oyarzun, M. Mazor, Y. K. Wu, C. Avila, A. P. Athanassiadis, M. D. Mitchell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


The regulatory signals responsible for the increased biosynthesis of prostaglandins during parturition have not been established. Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is capable of stimulating prostaglandin production by intrauterine tissues and is an inflammation mediator. It has been postulated as a signal for the onset of labor in the setting of intrauterine infection. A study was designed to determine if spontaneous labor at term was associated with changes in IL-1 activity in amniotic fluid. Such fluid was retrieved from 41 women in labor and from 39 women who were not in labor at term. Immunodetectable IL-1β was present in 22 of the 41 women in labor but in only 8 of the 39 women without labor. IL-1-like bioactivity was not different between the two groups at a dilution of 1:4, but at dilutions of 1:12, 1:36 and 1:108, amniotic fluid from women in labor had significantly higher bioactivity than that from women not in labor. A significant correlation was found between the bioassay and immunoassay results. Our data show that inhibitors of IL-1 bioactivity are present in amniotic fluid and suggest that in a subset of laboring women at term, an inflammatory reaction may play a role in triggering the onset of parturition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-238
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of reproductive medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990


  • Amniotic Fluid
  • Female
  • Human
  • Interleukin-1
  • Pregnancy
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.


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