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1.  Is the beta3-adrenoceptor (ADRB3) a potential target for uterorelaxant drugs? 
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth  2007;7(Suppl 1):S14.
The management of premature birth still remains unsatisfactory. Since the relative lack of efficiency and/or safety of current tocolytic agents have been highlighted, it is necessary to develop new uterorelaxant drugs deprived of important maternal and foetal side effects. Our work reported in this review focuses on a potential new target for tocolytic drugs, the β3-adrenoceptor (ADRB3). This third type of ADRB is shown to be present and functional in human myometrium. We demonstrated that ADRB3 agonists are able to inhibit in-vitro spontaneous contractions of myometrial strips, via a cyclic AMP-mediated pathway. Furthermore, we established that ADRB3 is the predominant subtype over the ADRB2 in human myometrium and that its expression is increased in near-term myometrium, compared to non-pregnant myometrium. Finally, we reported that contrary to ADRB2, the human myometrial ADRB3 is resistant to long-term agonist-induced desensitisation. These compelling data confirm the clinical potential interest of ADRB3 agonists in the pharmacological management of preterm labour.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-7-S1-S14
PMCID: PMC1892055  PMID: 17570158
2.  PDE4 as a target in preterm labour 
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth  2007;7(Suppl 1):S12.
Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDE) are the enzymes catalyzing the hydrolysis and inactivation of the second messengers, cAMP and cGMP. Eleven PDE families are described to date, and selective inhibitors of some PDEs families are currently used in clinic for treating cardiovascular disorders, erectile dysfunction, and pulmonary hypertension. Isoforms of the PDE4 family are involved in smooth muscle contraction and inflammation. PDE4 selective inhibitors are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of diseases related to inflammatory disorders. Because of their myorelaxant properties, we first examined their expression in human myometrium and uncover an increased expression of one specific isoform, PDE4B2, in the near-term myometrium as compared to myometrium in the nonpregnant state. Using human myometrial cells in culture, we demonstrated that PDE4B2 can be induced by its own substrate, under the control of one of the major utero-contractile agonists, PGE2, itself upregulated by the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β. Functionally, augmentation of global PDE4 activity decreases the ability of β-adrenergic agonists (the most commonly used tocolytic drugs) to inhibit myometrial contraction at the end of pregnancy and during pathophysiological situations, such as persistent intrauterine inflammation which is a major cause of very preterm delivery. Currently exploring the anti-inflammatory properties of PDE4 inhibitors in gestational tissues, we recently demonstrated the ability of these drugs to block a persistent inflammatory response of the foetal membranes in Humans and to prevent inflammation-driven preterm delivery and foetal demise in mice. These data open up a new therapeutical strategy to prevent inflammation-induced preterm delivery and its sequelae in very preterm infants.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-7-S1-S12
PMCID: PMC1892053  PMID: 17570156

Results 1-2 (2)