Up-regulation of oxytocin receptor expression at term is related to maternal body mass index

Matthew J. Garabedian, Wendy F. Hansen, Lauren A. McCord, Mark A. Manning, John M. O'Brien, Thomas E. Curry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background The likelihood of cesarean is in part related to maternal body mass index (BMI). Myometrial changes may be responsible. Methods Myometrial biopsies were collected from the upper edge of the hysterotomy from women undergoing scheduled cesarean with term, singleton gestations. Oxytocin receptor and connexin-43 mRNA protein expression was quantified with real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. Results Twenty subjects were recruited: 13 repeat and 7 primary cesareans. Oxytocin receptor mRNA was associated with BMI among women undergoing primary (r = 0.75; p = 0.05) but not repeat cesarean (p > 0.05). Controlling for gestational age, this association strengthened (p = 0.004). Receptor protein expression showed a linear correlation with BMI in the primary cesarean group (p = 0.002). Connexin-43 mRNA expression was not related to BMI in women undergoing primary (r = -0.14, p = 0.76) or repeat (r = -0.01, p = 0.86) cesarean. Conclusions Oxytocin receptor, but not connexin-43, expression is related to BMI, suggesting an alteration in oxytocin receptor expression or function related to obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013


  • cesarean delivery
  • connexin-43
  • obesity
  • oxytocin receptor
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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