A medicine designed for diabetic patients may work on treating recurring miscarriages in women, says the new study from the University of Warwick. It is the first treatment that targets the womb lining and increases the stem cells, thus supports a healthy pregnancy,
The complete study findings are published in the journal “EBioMedicine” and are available online. Click here to read it.
The research carried out at Warwick Medical School is a collaborative study between the institution, University Hospitals Coventry, and Warwickshire. It is further supported by the NIHR Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Research Facility. The research fund has been granted by Tommy’s National Miscarriage Research Centre.
Recurring miscarriages mean to experience miscarriage twice or more in a row. The recurring miscarriages reduce the likelihood of healthy pregnancies which is why finding a treatment for recurring miscarriages is such valuable for medical experts.
The previous research explains that a reduced amount of stem cells in the lining of the womb contributes to miscarriages. The new study explained that as stem cells protect decidual cells by tolerating the stress and internal inflammation, in return, decidual cells ensure a healthy pregnancy. These cells are normally located around the implanting embryo-like external protection. When the body is under excessive stress or inflammation, it breaks decidual cells and breaks the womb lining leading to a miscarriage.
The study assumed a new class of diabetic medicine called “gliptins” to be helpful in this regard. It acts by targeting an enzyme that recruits the stem cell circulation in a pregnant mother’s womb. To verify this, the research team studied this enzyme (DPP4) and checked if inhibiting this enzyme through sitagliptin (from class gliptins) improves the womb lining during pregnancy or not.
In the clinical trials of this study, 38 women from ages 18 to 42 were studied. All of them had a history of recurrent miscarriages where most of them had five miscarriages on average.
Each one of them was treated with oral sitagliptin and a placebo continuously for three menstrual cycles. The biopsy samples of their wombs were obtained before and after the completion of this study to find changes in stem cell amounts.
The research team was astonished to see an increase in stem cell count in 68% of women who followed the complete course of diabetic medicine, sitagliptin. On the other side, there was no such change in the placebo group. However, they showed a 50% decrease in their cells inside the womb’ lining. There were noticeable side effects of using sitagliptin.
This experiment opens a new line of treatment with sitagliptin to treat recurring pregnancies. The research team is hopeful that this drug would show positive results in clinical trials after which, it may become the first-ever, target specific medicine to treat recurring miscarriages.
Stem cells play a unique role in all healthy pregnancies where they strengthen the womb lining and contribute to a healthy pregnancy. When these stem cells are insufficient in the count, it makes womb lining more susceptible to become weak and increases the chance of miscarriage.
If stem cell count is increased by Sitagliptin dose, it may help decidual cells to protect the lining from stress and inflammation. Also, it may become an effective treatment for treating recurring miscarriages in women.