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Potential Reason Found Out for Early Pregnancy Loss

by Medindia Content Team on September 21, 2007 at 8:25 PM
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Potential Reason Found Out for Early Pregnancy Loss

The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, have found out that mice having reduced levels of Sphk2 (Sphk1-/-Sphk2+/- mice) and lack of protein known as Sphingosine kinase were found to be infertile. The discovery has provided a key reason for early pregnancy loss in humans.

Female mice lacking a protein known as sphingosine kinase 1 (Sphk1) and expressing reduced levels of Sphk2 (Sphk1-/-Sphk2+/- mice) were found to be infertile. Although embryos implanted into the womb, the womb failed to respond correctly to this — the structures that support the developing embryo before a functional placenta is established (the decidua) were defective.

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In particular, there was increased death of decidual cells and breakage of decidual blood vessels, which led to hemorrhaging and early pregnancy loss. As Sphk1 and Sphk2 are involved in metabolizing a group of fats known as sphingolipids, the authors suggested that disturbances in sphingolipid metabolism might be a cause of early pregnancy loss in humans.

Source: Eurekalert
JAY/C
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