The effect of cupric ions on the human uterus and the involvement of prostaglandins (PGs) in mediating this effect was studied by recording of isometric contractions of isolated myometrial strips and pieces of uterine arteries, and by intrauterine pressure recordings in women before the onset of menstruation. In vitro, CuCl2in concentrations of 10-4M and higher caused a significant inhibition of myometrial contractile activity, but no effect on the artery preparations was seen. Furthermore, the contractile response of myometrial strips to PGF2αand PGE2(10 ng/ml) decreased in the presence of CuCl2in concentrations of 5 and 50 μmol. In vivo, instillations of 0.3, 1.0 and 2.0 mM of CuCl2in 0.7 ml of saline solution into the uterine cavity caused a dose-dependent stimulation of uterine activity, but after pretreatment with naproxen, 500 mg orally, the effect of these substances was abolished. After naproxen treatment, but during infusion of PGF2α(5 μg/min), the response to the CuCl2solutions was partially restored. It is suggested that cupric ions, at high concentrations, have an inhibiting effect on myometrial activity. The stimulatory effect of low doses of CuCl2seen after installation into the uterine cavity is largely exerted via initiation of synthesis and release of endometrial PGs. © 1986.
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