The viscoelastic properties of the cervical mucus plug are considered essential for the occlusion of the cervical canal and thereby for protection against ascending infections during pregnancy. Factors controlling this property are virtually unknown. This study explores a possible role of trefoil factor peptides 1, 2 and 3 (TFF1-3); peptides believed to influence mucus viscosity.MATERIALS AND METHODS:The study is based on spontaneously shed cervical mucus plugs from 14 women in active labor. The viscoelastic properties; the elastic modulus (G') and the viscous modulus (G'') were determined by an oscillatory rheometer. The concentrations of TFF1-3 were measured by an in-house ELISA. Associations were analyzed by random-effects generalized least squares regression analyses.RESULTS:Median (range) concentrations of TFF1, (TFF2) and [TFF3] were 3.1 (1.2-8.6), (1.1 (<0.006-3.7)) and [1000 (170-5300)] nmol/g cervical mucus plug. The TFF3 concentration was associated with G' (regression coefficient 11.7 Pa/ Log nM (95% CI; 3.0 - 20.4, p = 0.009) and G'' (regression coefficient 3.2 Pa / Log nM (95% CI; 1.5 - 5.0, p < 0.001). Conclusion We suggest that TFF3 plays a role in the viscoelastic properties of the cervical mucus plug.
Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 2017, Vol 96, Issue 1, p. 47-52