Pre-eclampsia is a disease characterized by failures in interstitial implantation. One product of the implantation process is the basal plate; a structure whose complexity makes it hard to fully appreciate the pathological changes in significant diseases of pregnancy. This article describes our use of CLSM immunofluorescence to examine the cytokeratin composition of the cells of trophoblastic origin in the term placental basal plate. Large differences in the content of the structural polymeric protein were compared using analysis of digital images. We show that greater pancytokeratin immunofluorescence is observed in extravillous cytotrophoblast cells as compared with villous trophoblast. There is a > 30-fold difference in the mean area percent of the most intensely immunofluorescent pixels in the tissue containing these cells. This is a very high, statistically significant difference as defined by the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test Asym. Sig. (two-tailed): P < 0.001. The most invasive population of cells of the trophoblast lineage (the extravillous trophoblast) exhibits a significant reduction in cytokeratin immunofluorescence when comparisons of healthy and pre-eclamptic pregnancies are made. This ratio was 2.4:1. It was tested using the Mann-Whitney U-test. From healthy to pre-eclamptic the reduction was from mean rank 83.42((healthy)) to 51.13((pre-eclamptic)). The difference was very highly statistically significant (n = 53 + 75 = 128; U = 984.500; Z = -4.852; P < 0.001). There was also less cytokeratin-related immunofluorescence in villous trophoblast when healthy villi were compared with pre-eclamptic villi. The observed alterations in trophoblastic cytoskeletal components are expected to damage the anchorage and motility of cells. The extravillous trophoblast is known to be necessary for implantation. This leads to a cellular hypothesis of the failure of implantation resulting in reduced depth of uterine invasion and failure to adapt the spiral arterioles for low-pressure perfusion of the intervillus space, two well-known features of pre-eclampsia. The reduction in cytokeratin-related immunofluorescence in the villus trophoblast seen on comparing healthy term placentae with those from pre-eclamptics implies that the trophoblast is a weaker epithelial layer in the hypertensive pregnancy. This could account for the rise in deported trophoblast associated with pre-eclampsia. Deported trophoblast has been invoked as the systemic messenger that leads to generalized maternal hypertension seen in this condition. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Immunocytochemical confocal laser scanning microscope images of the monolayer of cells lining the intervillus space at the basal plate of term placentae were analysed using stereology. Immunoreactively-distinct regions of this mosaic layer were measured. In basal plate from healthy pregnancies, trophoblast epithelium occupied 18.91% of the surface area and endothelium 60.81%. In pre-eclampsia the equivalent areas were 15.57% and 67.63%. Acellular fibrinoid covers the remaining area and this component decreases in area in pre-eclampsia. The statistically significant increase in the cellular endothelial compartment may be relevant to the hypertensive pathology of pre-eclampsia as endothelial signalling plays a major role in regulation of blood pressure. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Previous studies have shown that the maintenance and proliferation of undifferentiated rhesus monkey embryonic stem (rES) cells requires medium supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS). Due to the uncharacterized composition and variation in serum nature, the present study aimed to replace the serum-containing medium with a serum-free medium in the rES cell culture. The results showed that after the initial 48-h culture in the routinely used serum-containing medium, rES cells can grow and proliferate for a prolonged period in the serum-free medium composed of DMEM supplemented with a cocktail of BSA, IGF-1, TGF-alpha, bFGF, aFGF, estradiol, and progesterone. rES cells cultured in the serum-free medium maintained high level of alkaline phosphatase activity and OCT4 level. There was no indication of differentiation as judged by the marker gene expression of all three embryonic germ layers and trophoblast. In addition, serum-free culture would not affect the passage capacity and differentiation potential of rES cells. This work will facilitate the future study of induced differentiation of rES cells and other applications.
First reported as a vasoactive peptide in the cardiovascular system, intermedin (IMD), also known as adrenomedullin 2(ADM2), is a hormone with multiple potent roles, including its antioxidant action on the pulmonary, central nervous,cardiovascular and renal systems. Though IMD may play certain roles in trophoblast cell invasion, early embryonicdevelopment and cumulus cell-oocyte interaction, the role of IMD in the male reproductive system has yet to beinvestigated. This paper reports our findings on the gene expression of IMD, its receptor components and its proteinlocalization in the testes. In a rat model, bacterial lippolysaccharide (LPS) induced atypical orchitis, and LPS treatmentupregulated the expression of IMD and one of its receptor component proteins, i.e. receptor activity modifying protein 2(RAMP2). IMD decreased both plasma and testicular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, attenuated theincrease in the gene expression of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa), interleukin 6 (IL6) andinterleukin 1 beta (IL1b), rescued spermatogenesis, and prevented the decrease in plasma testosterone levels caused by LPS.The restorative effect of IMD on steroidogenesis was also observed in hydrogen peroxide-treated rat primary Leydig cellsculture. Our results indicate IMD plays an important protective role in spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis, suggestingtherapeutic potential for IMD in pathological conditions such as orchitis.
Fetal membranes consist of 10 distinct layers including components of amnion, chorion and decidua, the latter being of maternal origin. They form mechanically integrated sheets capable of retaining amniotic fluid and play an essential role in protecting fetal growth and development in the pregnant uterus. The extracellular matrix, substrate for plasminogen activators (PAs), is an important supportive framework of the fetal membranes. :Fetal membranes from women with preterm premature rupture of membranes may differ in their protease activity compared with normal membranes. To identify the presence of PAs and their inhibitors (PAI) and their possible role in the process of fetal membrane rupture, this study in investigated the distribution and localization of both protein and mRNA for tissue (t) and urokinase (u) PA and their inhibitors type 1 (PAI-1) and type 2 (PAI-2) in amniochorion of human and rhesus monkey using conventional and. confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. In situ hybridization analysis showed that the distribution and localization of mRNAs for tPA, uPA, PAI-I and PAI-2 were similar in the fetal membranes of human and rhesus monkey; no obvious species difference was observed. Evidence of tPA mRNA was detected in amniotic epithelium, trophoblast cells and nearly all cells of the decidual layer. Strong expression of uPA mRNA was noted in the decidual cells which increased in intensity as the abscission point was approached. Weak staining in chorion laeve trophoblast was also detected. In situ hybridization experiments showed PAI-1 mRNA to be concentrated mainly in the decidual cells, some of which were interposed into the maternal-facing edge of the chorion laeve. Maximal labelling of the decidua occurred towards the zone of abscission. Weak expression of PAI-1 mRNA nas also noted in some cells of the chorion laeve. The distribution of PAI-2 mRNA in amniochorion was also concentrated in the cells of the decidual layer, maximum expression of the mRNA was in the level of abscission. No detectable amount of mRNAs for tPA, uPA, PAI-1 and PAI-2 was found in the fibroblast, reticular and spongy layers. Distribution of the proteins of tPA, uPA and PAI-1 in the fetal membranes of these two species was consistent with the distribution of their mRNA. Anti-PAI-2 immunofluorescence was found to be strongly concentrated in the amniotic epithelium, but PAI-2 mRNA was negative in this layer, suggesting that the epithelium-associated PAI-2 is not of epithelial origin. These findings suggest that a local fibrinolysis in fetal membranes generated by precisely balanced expression of PAs and their inhibitors via paracrine or autocrine mechanisms may play an essential role in fetal membrane development, maturation and in membrane rupture. Following an analysis of the distribution and synthesis of activators and inhibitors it was found that they may play a role in abscission during the third stage of labour. (C) 1998 W. B. Saunders Company Ltd.