Biochemical Aspects of Cervical Maturation

  • N. Wiqvist
  • A. Linde
  • I. Wiqvist
Conference paper


The functional demands made of the connective tissue component of the myometrium are that it adapt to the conceptus by progressive growth during pregnancy and respond by involution of the uterus after delivery. The corresponding demands made of the uterine cervix are that it serve as a fibrous barrier to keep the fetus inside the uterus during pregnancy and that it soften shortly before term to allow extensive and rapid dilatation at delivery. These alterations are regulated partially by mechanical and partially by endogenous hormonal influences. In addition, it is by now a well-established fact that cervical priming to facilitate induction of labor may be accomplished within a few hours following local administration of, for example, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cabrol D, Breton M, Berrou E, Visser A, Sureau C, Pickard J (1980) Variations in the distribution of glycosaminoglycans in the uterine cervix of the pregnant woman. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 10:281–287CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Cabrol D, Dallot E, Cedard L, Sureau C (1985) Pregnancy-related changes in the distribution of glycosaminoglycans in the cervix and corpus of the human uterus. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 20:289–295CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Cretius K, Hannig K, Beier G (1966) Untersuchungen zur Löslichkeit und zum Verhalten des Kollagens im nichtschwangeren menschlichen Uterus. Arch Gynäkol 203:329–353CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Danforth DN, Veis A, Breen M, Weinstein HG, Buckingham JC, Manalo P (1974) The effect of pregnancy and labor on the human cervix: changes in collagen, glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans. Am J Obstet Gynecol 120:641–649PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Ekman G, Uldbjerg N, Malmström A, Ulmsten U (1983) Increased post-partum collagenolytic activity in cervical connective tissue from women treated with prostaglandin E2. Gynecol Obstet Invest 16:292–298CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Golichowski A (1980) Cervical stromal interstitial polysaccaride metabolism in pregnancy. In: Naftolin F, Stubblefield PG (eds) Dilatation of the uterine cervix. Raven Press, New York, pp 99–112Google Scholar
  7. Kitamura K, Ito A, Mori Y, Hirakawa S (1980) Glycosaminoglycans of human cervix: heparan sulfate increase with reference to cervical ripening. Biochem Med 23:159–166CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Kleissl HP, Rest M van der, Naftolin F, Glorieux FH, Leon A de (1978) Collagen changes in the human uterine cervix at parturition. Am J Obstet Gynecol 130:748–753PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Lindahl U, Höök M (1978) Glycosaminoglycans and their binding to biological macromolecules. Annu Rev Biochem 47:385–417CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Linde A (1972) Glycosaminoglycans of the rat incisor pulp. Biochim Biophys Acta 279:446–455CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Miller EJ (1984) Chemistry of the collagens and their distribution. In: Piez KA, Reddi AH (eds) Extracellular matrix biochemistry. Elsevier, New York, pp 41–81Google Scholar
  12. Oegma TR, Laidlaw J, Hascall VC, Dziewiatkowski DD (1975) The effect or proteoglycans on the formation of fibrils from collagen solutions. Arch Biochem Biophys 170:698–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Parry DM, Ellwood DA (1981) Ultrastructural aspects of cervical softening in the sheep. In: Ellwood DA, Andersson ABM (eds) The cervix in pregnancy and labour. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, pp 74–84Google Scholar
  14. Strauss G (1969) Histoplanimetrische Untersuchungen am menschlichen Uterus. Arch Gynäkol 207:572–600CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Szalay S, Husslein P, Grundberger W (1981) Local application of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and its influence on collagenolytic activity of cervical tissue. Singapore J Obstet Gynecol 12:15–19Google Scholar
  16. Uldbjerg N, Ekman G, Malmström A, Sporrong B, Ulmsten U, Wingerup L (1981) Biochemical and morphological changes of human cervix after local application of prostaglandin E2 in pregnancy. Lancet/267Google Scholar
  17. Uldbjerg N, Klunstem U, Ekman G (1983c) The ripening of the human uterine cervix in terms of connective tissue biochemistry. In: Ulmsten U, Ueland K (eds) Clinical obstetrics and gynecology. The forces of labor: uterine contractions and the resistance of the cervix. Harpes and Row, Philadelphia, pp 14–26Google Scholar
  18. Uldbjerg N, Ekman G, Malmström A, Olsson K, Ulmsten U (1983a) Ripening of the human uterine cervix related to changes in collagen, glycosaminoglycans and collagenolytic activity. Am J Obstet Gynecol 147:662–666PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Uldbjerg N, Ekman G, Malmström A, Ulmsten U, Wingerup L (1983 b) Biochemical changes in human cervical connective tissue after local administration of prostaglandin E2. Gynecol Obstet Invest 15:291–299CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. von Maillot K, Stuhlsatz HW, Geutsch (1979) Connective tissue changes in the human cervix in pregnancy and labour. In: Ellwood DA, Andersson AGM (eds) The cervix in pregnancy and labour. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, pp 121–135Google Scholar
  21. Wiqvist I, Linde A (1987) Hormonal influence on glucosaminoglycan synthesis in uterine connective tissue of term pregnant women. Hum Reprod 2:177–182PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Woolley DE (1984) Mammalian collagenases. In: Extracellular matrix biochemistry. Piez KA, Reddi AH (eds) Elsevier, New York, pp 117–157Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Wiqvist
    • 1
  • A. Linde
    • 2
  • I. Wiqvist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologySahlgren’s University Hospital, University of GothenburgGöteborgGermany
  2. 2.Department of HistologyUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgGermany

Personalised recommendations