Repeated Mifepristone Abortion Affects Subsequent Pregnancy Outcomes in BALB/c Mice (2012)

This 2012 MOUSE study from China shows that chemical abortion mifepristone (RU-486) adversely affects the female reproductive system. Overall, mice that experienced 2 previous medical/chemical abortions had spontaneous abortions (‘miscarriages’) in subsequent pregnancies; repeated medical/chemical abortion affected the expression of metabolic genes in the livers of living offspring; abortion decreased sperm motility in the first generation male offspring; and finally, medical/chemical abortion caused reduced reproductive capacity, caused placental dysfunction, and reduced the expression of protein-making genes needed in pregnancy metabolism. It should be noted that no spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) were observed in the control groups of mice.   http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0048384&representation=PDF Abstract Aim: In this study, we aimed to establish a mouse model of repeated medical termination of pregnancy in order to determine subsequent outcomes. Methods: A model of mifepristone (RU 486)-induced medical abortion was established in BALB/c mice to facilitate the investigation of the impact of medical abortion on subsequent pregnancies, including litter sizes and newborn birth weights. Pregnant mice were sacrificed to… – examine midterm pregnancy status, investigate the frequency of fetal resorption, – measure placental function gene expression by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Offspring liver mRNA was harvested for real-time PCR to determine gene expression and assess the effects of abortion on offspring development. Results: Mice subjected to 2 previous medical abortions experienced spontaneous abortions in subsequent pregnancies. Medical abortion caused reduced reproductive capacity and affected placental dysfunction, with reduced expression of tissue factor (TF) and genes encoding proteins involved in metabolic functions relevant to pregnancy, such as 11b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1/2 (11b-HSD1/2) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Reduced expression was also observed for platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (CD31)...

Alternate Ethical Source of Stem Cells from Placenta

“As embryonic human stem cells derived from fertilization procedures induce ethical concerns, a third option requires attention. “Embryonic human stem cells used for research in other countries are frequently derived from spontaneous abortion products [i.e. from miscarriages]. “Approximately 10% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion before the 16th week of gestation; this percentage is reduced to 1 percent after the 16th week of gestation. “Establishment of programs to capture this naturally available embryonic human stem cell product could resolve the shortage and prevent disputes about the source of embryonic human stem cells.” [M. E. Van Hoef , Falls Church, The Wash Post,5Sept01; Van Hoef is an oncologist-hematologist (clinical research & dev¬ít in blood / marrow transplants, which use cord blood, pediatric or adult human stem cells to restore bone marrow function after aggressive chemotherapy in cancer...