Ion channels are effector proteins that mediate uterine excitability throughout gestation. This review will focus primarily on the role of potassium channels in regulating myometrial tone in pregnancy and labor contractions. During gestation, potassium channels maintain the uterus in a state of quiescence by contributing to the resting membrane potential and counteracting contractile stimuli. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the significance of the potassium channels in maintaining a normal gestational period and initiating labor contractions at term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Labor
  • Myometrium
  • Potassium channel
  • Pregnancy


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