About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 689768, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/689768
Research Article

Autophagy and Human Parturition: Evaluation of LC3 Expression in Placenta from Spontaneous or Medically Induced Onset of Labor

1Unit of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Health Sciences, San Paolo Hospital Medical School, University of Milan, Via A. di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milan, Italy
2Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratories, Department of Health Sciences, San Paolo Hospital Medical School, University of Milan, Via A. di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milan, Italy
3Unit of Human Pathology, Department of Health Sciences, San Paolo Hospital Medical School, University of Milan, Via A. di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milan, Italy

Received 3 April 2013; Revised 7 June 2013; Accepted 11 June 2013

Academic Editor: Takeshi Noda

Copyright © 2013 Laura Avagliano et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Induction of labor is one of the most used procedures in obstetrics, performed to achieve vaginal delivery through cervical ripening and stimulation of uterine contractions. We investigated the impact of induction of labor upon placental autophagy, a catabolic pathway activated in response to alteration of the physiological intracellular conditions. We collected 28 singleton placentas at the time of uncomplicated term vaginal delivery (7 spontaneous onset of labor, 21 induced labor). Autophagy was evaluated by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and immunoblotting. No significant difference in the autophagy expression was found between spontaneous or induced onset of labor. We found an inverse relationship between autophagy expression and the maternal prepregnancy body mass index, irrespective of the mode of labor onset. This result could be related to the nutritional maternal habits before and throughout pregnancy rather than rapid metabolic changes during labor.