In vivo Raman spectral analysis of impaired cervical remodeling in a mouse model of delayed parturition

Christine M. O'Brien, Jennifer L. Herington, Naoko Brown, Isaac J. Pence, Bibhash C. Paria, James C. Slaughter, Jeff Reese, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Monitoring cervical structure and composition during pregnancy has high potential for prediction of preterm birth (PTB), a problem affecting 15 million newborns annually. We use in vivo Raman spectroscopy, a label-free, light-based method that provides a molecular fingerprint to non-invasively investigate normal and impaired cervical remodeling. Prostaglandins stimulate uterine contractions and are clinically used for cervical ripening during pregnancy. Deletion of cyclooxygenase-1 (Cox-1), an enzyme involved in production of these prostaglandins, results in delayed parturition in mice. Contrary to expectation, Cox-1 null mice displayed normal uterine contractility; therefore, this study sought to determine whether cervical changes could explain the parturition differences in Cox-1 null mice and gestation-matched wild type (WT) controls. Raman spectral changes related to extracellular matrix proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids were tracked over pregnancy and found to be significantly delayed in Cox-1 null mice at term. A cervical basis for the parturition delay was confirmed by other ex vivo tests including decreased tissue distensibility, hydration, and elevated progesterone levels in the Cox-1 null mice at term. In conclusion, in vivo Raman spectroscopy non-invasively detected abnormal remodeling in the Cox-1 null mouse, and clearly demonstrated that the cervix plays a key role in their delayed parturition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6835
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo Raman spectral analysis of impaired cervical remodeling in a mouse model of delayed parturition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this