PGE2 vs PGF2α in human parturition

Wen jiao Li, Jiang wen Lu, Chu yue Zhang, Wang sheng Wang, Hao Ying, Leslie Myatt, Kang Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and F2α (PGF2α) are the two most prominent prostanoids in parturition. They are involved in cervical ripening, membrane rupture, myometrial contraction and inflammation in gestational tissues. Because multiple receptor subtypes for PGE2 and PGF2α exist, coupled with diverse signaling pathways, the effects of PGE2 and PGF2α depend largely on the spatial and temporal expression of these receptors in intrauterine tissues. It appears that PGE2 and PGF2α play different roles in parturition. PGE2 is probably more important for labor onset, while PGF2α may play a more important role in labor accomplishment, which may be attributed to the differential effects of PGE2 and PGF2α in gestational tissues. PGE2 is more powerful than PGF2α in the induction of cervical ripening. In terms of myometrial contraction, PGE2 produces a biphasic effect with an initial contraction and a following relaxation, while PGF2α consistently stimulates myometrial contraction. In the fetal membranes, both PGE2 and PGF2α appear to be involved in the process of membrane rupture. In addition, PGE2 and PGF2α may also participate in the inflammatory process of intrauterine tissues at parturition by stimulating not only neutrophil influx and cytokine production but also cyclooxygenase-2 expression thereby intensifying their own production. This review summarizes the differential roles of PGE2 and PGF2α in parturition with respect to their production and expression of receptor subtypes in gestational tissues. Dissecting the specific mechanisms underlying the effects of PGE2 and PGF2α in parturition may assist in developing specific therapeutic targets for preterm and post-term birth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-219
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021


  • EP receptor
  • FP receptor
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Prostaglandin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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