Gap junctions: their presence and necessity in myometrium during parturition

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Science  02 Dec 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4320, pp. 958-960
DOI: 10.1126/science.929182


Thin sections of longitudinal and circular muscle of myometrium obtained from rats during pregnancy, at term, during delivery, and postpartum were quantitatively examined in the electron microscope. Gap junctions (low resistance pathways) were only present during or immediately prior to delivery and immediately postpartum. The absence of gap junctions during gestation may be necessary for maintenance of pregnancy, while their occurrence during parturition may lead to effective termination of pregnancy.