birth baby miscarriage

Scientists discover cause of multiple miscarriages

Scientists discover stem cells in the womb lining causes women to suffer from recurrent miscarriages, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatments for the condition.

Jan Brosens, Professor at the University of Warwick (UK), told the Gaurdian, “We have discovered that the lining of the womb in the recurrent miscarriage patients we studied is already defective before pregnancy.” Adding, “I can envisage that we will be able to correct these defects before the patient tries to achieve another pregnancy. In fact, this may be the only way to really prevent miscarriages in these cases.”
Another failure of pregnancies was a shortfall of stem cells, which is the likely cause of accelerated ageing of the lining of the womb, the study found. 15-25%of pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is one of the most common cause of loss. One in 100 women trying to conceive, suffers recurrent miscarriages – defined as the loss of three or more consecutive pregnancies.

183 women donated tissue samples from the womb lining examined by scientists. They discovered, an epigenetic signature – which is typical of stem cells – was absent in cultures established from womb biopsies taken from women suffering recurrent miscarriages.

Compared to women in the study’s control group, fewer stem cells could be isolated from the lining of the womb from recurrent miscarriage patients.

The study also found that a stem cell shortage accelerates cellular ageing in the womb and the lining has to renew itself during each cycle, each miscarriage and successful birth. This renewal capacity is dependent on resident stem cell population. Patients’ shortage of these stem cells, ssuffersrecurrent loss which is associated with accelerated ageing of the tissue.

“After an embryo has implanted, the lining of the uterus develops into a specialised structure called the decidua, and this process can be replicated when cells from the uterus are cultured in the lab,” said Brosens. “Cultured cells from women who had had three or more consecutive miscarriages showed that ageing cells in the lining of the womb don’t have the ability to prepare adequately for pregnancy,” Brosens added.

In a PR, Jane Brewin, CEO of pregnancy charity Tommy’s said,“Medical science doesn’t fully understand miscarriage which is why funding and research is so critical.” Adding, “Through pioneering medical research, Tommy’s clinicians will save babies’ lives by turning their discoveries into screening tests and treatments and launch clinics for pregnant women who are most at risk, giving them the latest improvements in care. They’ll share their work in national clinical guidelines, preventing miscarriages and developing better care across the country.”

The study was published in the journal Stem Cells.

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