Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2007
Mentor: Mala Mahendroo, Ph.D.
Department: Obstetrics and Gynecology
Room number: F2.306
Mail Code: 9032
Phone number: 214 648 3091
Project title :Identification of the physiological role of CD44-hyaluronan interactions in cervical ripening at birth
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects)
Brief Description of Project:
Our laboratory is interested in defining the process by which the cervix remodels in preparation for birth. These studies are important to prevent the incidence of preterm birth which occurs in 12% of pregnancies in this country as well as to prevent complications associated with posterm pregnancies and cesarean deliveries. We use mouse models that have defects in cervical ripening to further our understanding of critical events required for cervical ripening. Previous studies from our laboratory have determined regulated increases in the glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronan (HA), accompany cervical ripening. The diverse physiological functions of HA are mediated by numerous HA binding proteins and a receptor, CD44. Transcripts for CD44 are increased in the cervix prior to onset of labor. In the current study, processes integral to cervical ripening that are mediated by CD44-HA interactions will be evaluated in a mouse lacking expression of the CD44 receptor. Differences in HA content, degradation and molecular weight will be evaluated. In addition, comparisons will be made between wild type and CD44 deficient mice to determine the role CD44 may play in migration and activation of leukocytes as well as regulation of genes involved in cervical ripening.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
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