New research has found that premature birth can be prevented by blocking a molecule in the uterus.
Premature birth can result in major developmental problems as many organs including the lungs, brain and liver will develop in the last weeks of pregnancy.
Study co-author David Cornfield from the Stanford University in California stated that premature infants must face a number of problems both physically and psychologically.
When labour pains begin in a woman, the uterus experiences powerful contractions to push the baby out. There is no effective treatment for premature labor.
Earlier research has found that calcium levels of muscle cells within the walls of the uterus help control womb contractions.
In this study, researchers focused on a molecule found in the mouse uterus termed as TRPV4, which controls the flow of calcium into cells. Researchers proved that blocking TRPV4 has prolonged pregnancy in two mouse models of premature labor, suggesting it is a better option for interventions to treat premature labor in patients.
Study stated that TRPV4 channel activity modulates uterine contractility and probably may represent a therapeutic target to address preterm labour. The key findings have appeared online in the journal Science Translational Medicine.