Full thickness samples of the cervix were obtained from hysterectomy specimens of nonpregnant women of childbearing age for comparison with similar specimens taken from the cervix immediately after delivery. The mucosa and the peripheral 2 to 3 mm of tissue were cut away and the samples were analyzed. When compared with the nonpregnant cervix, the cervix immediately after delivery showed the following: a slight increase in water, a marked decline in collagen and glycoprotein, and a marked increase in glycosaminoglycans. Electrophoretic analysis showed the presence in both groups of tissue of hyaluronic acid, chondroitin 4/6 sulfate, and dermatan sulfate. In the dilated cervix a 'new' component, not encountered before with the use of these techniques, appeared in the cellulose acetate electrophoretograms with considerable intensity. The 'new' component may be an unidentified glycosaminoglycan, or a fragment of proteoglycan core protein along with some glycosaminoglycan, or an undersulfated keratan sulfate. The collagen destruction and the synthesis of large quantities of the 'new' component emphasize the fact that dilatation of the cervix is an active, dynamic process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology