Role of steroid hormones in modulating fibrosis and scarring in the peritoneal cavity

University of Edinburgh

Past award

Student: Rebecca Green : University of Edinburgh

Year Award Started: 2013

Patients having surgical procedures in their abdomen, or abdominal infection or inflammation, frequently suffer from post-operative adhesions. These are filmy accumulations of connective tissue forming membranous connections between the wall of the abdomen, gut and other organs, which can cause severe pain, infertility (in women) and bowel obstruction, which start off as a build up of fibrotic material containing collagen. However, when the ovary is injured at ovulation, no such problems occur, we believe as a consequence of a protective effect of locally produced steroid hormones. Using a mouse model of fibrosis, we aim to test whether these steroids (Progesterone and Glucocorticoid) can prevent the fibrosis occurring in the abdominal wall. If successful this could lead to methods of preventing adhesion formation after surgery or infection with far reaching implications for reducing suffering and the healthcare burden.

Research area: Other conditions


Dr Christopher Harlow
Queen’s Medical Research Institute