Stimulation of prostaglandin biosynthesis by urine of the human fetus may serve as a trigger for parturition

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Science  29 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4596, pp. 521-522
DOI: 10.1126/science.6573023


Urine of the human fetus stimulated prostaglandin biosynthesis in vitro by increasing the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostaglandins. The stimulatory activity in urine from fetuses delivered at term after labor of spontaneous onset was greater than that in urine from fetuses delivered by cesarean section at term before the onset of labor. Such stimulation of prostaglandin biosynthesis by the fetal membranes, by way of a substance released into the urine and thence into amniotic fluid, could serve as a signal for the initiation of parturition.