PubMed 21642947

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir6.2

Title: A role of stretch-activated potassium currents in the regulation of uterine smooth muscle contraction.

Authors: Iain L O Buxton, Nathanael Heyman, Yi-ying Wu, Scott Barnett, Craig Ulrich

Journal, date & volume: Acta Pharmacol. Sin., 2011 Jun , 32, 758-64

PubMed link:

Rates of premature birth are alarming and threaten societies and healthcare systems worldwide. Premature labor results in premature birth in over 50% of cases. Preterm birth accounts for three-quarters of infant morbidity and mortality. Children that survive birth before 34 weeks gestation often face life-long disability. Current treatments for preterm labor are wanting. No treatment has been found to be generally effective and none are systematically evaluated beyond 48 h. New approaches to the treatment of preterm labor are desperately needed. Recent studies from our laboratory suggest that the uterine muscle is a unique compartment with regulation of uterine relaxation unlike that of other smooth muscles. Here we discuss recent evidence that the mechanically activated 2-pore potassium channel, TREK-1, may contribute to contraction-relaxation signaling in uterine smooth muscle and that TREK-1 gene variants associated with human labor and preterm labor may lead to a better understanding of preterm labor and its possible prevention.