Figure 5. Feto-maternal signaling in parturition. Senescence of human placental membranes is associated with telomere attrition and p38 MAPK activation. Senescent membranes contribute to sterile inflammation by generation of SASP and DAMPs, like HMGB1. These signals from senescent fetal cells increase the overall inflammatory load in intrauterine tissues, disrupt the homeostatic balance, and cause myometrial activation.