Research Department: Reproductive Sciences/
Graduation Date: May 2018
Abstract: Cervical insufficiency is a risk factor for preterm birth characterized by premature dilation of the cervix in the absence of uterine contractions. Structural organization of fibrillar collagen in the extracellular matrix (ECM) determines the biomechanical properties of the cervix. The formation of these collagen fibers (fibrillogenisis)f is a complex process that is regulated in part by small leucine rich proteoglycans (SLRPs). The focus of this study was to determine if the Class II SLRPs Fibromodulin and Lumican regulate collagen fibrillogenesis and ultimately cervical function during pregnancy, parturition and post-partum repair.