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Physiology of the Fallopian Tube and Ectopic Pregnancy

Principal Investigator: Håkan Billig

Our current research focus is ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is defined as pregnancy established outside the uterus, of which 97% occurs in the oviduct. The known risk factors for ectopic pregnancy are infections (particularly Chlamydia trachomatis), surgery, smoking and in vitro fertilization. Approximately 1-2% of all pregnancies are ectopic, the most common reason for maternal death during early pregnancy. The mechanism behind ectopic pregnancy is largely unknown which, in turn, limits the possibilities for early diagnosis and treatment. The current knowledge on ectopic pregnancy is mostly descriptive and experimental models in humans and animals are largely lacking.

Our working hypothesis: Chronic inflammation as a common denominator, induced by either Chlamydia infections or tobacco smoke exposure, exerts a critical role during the Fallopian tubal damage response, mediated by nitric oxide (NO) and cytokine production followed by selective modulation of the microRNAs that, in turn, regulate multiple gene expression. Sex steroids may regulate this process.

Using molecular and cellular approaches, together with human/mouse tubal tissues in vitro and with animal models in vivo, we will investigate how Chlamydia infection affect Fallopian tubal cell abnormality, influence the tubal transport of embryos in vivo; determine how steroid hormones can prevent or protect from inflammation-induced tubal damage. Using this knowledge, we want to develop novel prediction, prevention and treatment for women with (or have increased risk for) ectopic pregnancy.

Contact and collaboration

Because research benefits from collaboration, we invite colleagues and researchers to develop joint projects with us.
Interested post-doctoral scientists and PhD students are welcome to contact us.


Fotografi - Professor Håkan Billig

Håkan Billig


Personlig profil, CV och publikationer

Tfn: 031 786 3534
E-post: hakan.billig@fysiologi.gu.se
Besöks- och postadresser

Sidansvarig: Annie Sundling|Sidan uppdaterades: 2015-08-13

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