Genome-Wide Analysis of DNA Methylation in Human Amnion
JINSIL KIM, MITCHELL M. PITLICK, PAUL J. CHRISTINE, AMANDA R. SCHAEFER, CESAR SALEME, BELÉN COMAS, VIVIANA COSENTINO, ENRIQUE GADOW, and JEFFREY C. MURRAY
The human amnion is the inner layer of the fetal membranes composed of a monolayer of epithelial cells attached to a basement membrane overlying a collagen-rich stroma [1, 2]. This tissue, which encloses the amniotic fluid, protects the fetus from external mechanical forces and provides an environment that supports fetal movement and growth [3, 4]. The amnion is also a metabolically active tissue involved in the synthesis of various substances with important functions during pregnancy, including prostaglandins and cytokines [1, 5, 6]. It is particularly well known as a major source of prostaglandin E2, a potent molecule mediating cervical ripening and myometrial contraction [7-10], whose levels dramatically increase before and during labor [11, 12].