Role of progesterone and progestin therapy in threatened abortion and preterm labour

Julia Szekeres-Bartho, Jacek R. Wilczynski, Pawel Basta, Jaroslaw Kalinka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

41 Citations (Scopus)


Progesterone (P) has been widely used in an attempt to prevent threatened miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage and pre-term labour. Successful pregnancy depends on maternal tolerance of the fetal "semi-allograft". Along with its endocrine effects, P also acts as an "immunosteroid", by controlling the bias towards a pregnancy protective immune milieu. A protein called progesterone-induced blocking factor (PIBF), by inducing a Th2 dominant cytokine production mediates the immunological effects of progesterone. Progesterone plays a role in uterine homing of NK cells and up-regulates HLA-G gene expression, the ligand for various NK inhibitory receptors. At high concentrations, progesterone is a potent inducer of Th2-type cytokines as well as of LIF and M-CSF production by T cells. The possible mechanisms by which progesterone contributes to the maintenance of early and late pregnancy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1981-1990
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 5 2008



  • Cytokines
  • Decidual NK cells
  • PIBF
  • Progesterone
  • Prostaglandins
  • Review
  • Threatened abortion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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