In this study, we performed small RNA library sequencing using human placental tissues to identify placenta-specific miRNAs. We also tested the hypothesis that human chorionic villi could secrete miRNAs extracellularly via exosomes, which in turn enter into maternal circulation. By small RNA library sequencing, most placenta-specific miRNAs (e.g., MIR517A ) were linked to a miRNA cluster on chromosome 19. The miRNA cluster genes were differentially expressed in placental development. Subsequent validation by real-time PCR and in situ hybridization revealed that villous trophoblasts express placenta-specific miRNAs. The analysis of small RNA libraries from the blood plasma showed that the placenta-specific miRNAs are abundant in the plasma of pregnant women. By real-time PCR, we confirmed the rapid clearance of the placenta-specific miRNAs from the plasma after delivery, indicating that such miRNAs enter into maternal circulation. By using the trophoblast cell line BeWo in culture, we demonstrated that miRNAs are indeed extracellularly released via exosomes. Taken together, our findings suggest that miRNAs are exported from the human placental syncytiotrophoblast into maternal circulation, where they could target maternal tissues. Finally, to address the biological functions of placenta-specific miRNAs, we performed a proteome analysis of BeWo cells transfected with MIR517A . Bioinformatic analysis suggests that this miRNA is possibly involved in tumor necrosis factor-mediated signaling. Our data provide important insights into miRNA biology of the human placenta.
Abstract Angiogenesis is a key feature of placental and uterine development in early pregnancy. We hypothesized that trophoblast cells produce angiogenic growth factors, and that expression differs between villous cytotrophoblast (CTB) and extravillous trophoblast (EVT) cells. Fourteen angiogenic growth factors were measured by multiplex growth factor analysis or ELISA in tissue culture supernatants from EVT and CTB from pregnancies at 8–10 and 12–14 weeks' gestation. Gestational age and cell type differences were observed. EVT and CTB are major producers of angiogenic growth factors that likely contribute to placental vascular development and spiral artery remodeling.
The regulation of cytokine secretion has not been extensively investigated in placental tissue. Fragments of term human placenta were incubated in Tyrode's medium for 3h and cytokine concentrations were measured in the supernatant. IL-1beta secretion after vaginal delivery (VD) was (mean +/- SEM fmol/mg wet weight/3h) 0.193 +/- 0.005 (basal) and 0.549 +/- 0.18 (+1n M TNFalpha) and was more sensitive to TNFalpha dose after elective Caesarean section in the absence of clinical labour (CS) than VD. Secretion of IL-6 after VD was 2.3 +/- 0.47 (basal) and 3.01 +/- 0.34 (+1n M TNFalpha), was correlated with the secretion of IL-1beta and was more sensitive to TNFalpha dose after VD than CS. The inhibitors SB203580, PD98059, SN50, cycloheximide and D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole each reduced the basal and TNFalpha-stimulated secretion of IL-1beta and also reduced IL-6 secretion with the exception of SN50. There were no interactions between effects of inhibitors and mode of delivery or TNFalpha. In summary we found that term placenta spontaneously secretes IL-1beta and IL-6 in vitro. Delivery after labour alters placental sensitivity to TNFalpha. Exposure to agents known to inhibit MAPK pathways, NF-kappaB, or synthesis of protein and mRNA reduces placental cytokine secretion.
We studied the hormone excretion of human immortalized extravillous trophoblast cells (TCL-2, first-trimester cells) and determined whether peroxisomes are present in TCL-2. The results of TCL-2 were compared with those of TCL-1 (third-trimester cells). Morphologically, TCL-2 cells were fibroblast-like, and the growth rate of TCL-2 was slower than that of TCL-1 during 3 days culture. Progesterone was detected in the medium of TCL-2 and its concentration was approximately one-tenth of that in TCL-1. The activity of the peroxisomal marker enzyme catalase was detected in the TCL-2 homogenate, and it was about one-third the level of that in TCL-1. Fatty acyl-CoA oxidase activity was detected in TCL-2, and it was about. one-seventh the level of that in TCL-1. On the other hand human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was detected in the medium of TCL-2, and its concentration after 3 days of culture was about 2-fold that in TCL-1 using the diaminobenzidine (DAB) method, peroxisomes were found in TCL-2, but only a very small amount of catalase was detected. These results indicate that human immortalized extravillous trophoblast cells (TCL-2) synthesize, secrete hCG and progesterone, and may contain peroxisomes. Because extravillous trophoblast cells are difficult to obtain from the first-trimester placenta, TCL-2 cells are useful for the study of the physiologic functions (including peroxisomal function) of first-trimester cells.
Secretion of IL-1α, IL-1α, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α cytokines by villous chorion cultures (7–14 weeks) during normal pregnancy and in spontaneous abortions was studied. Secretion of IL-1α and IL-6 increased 4.5 and 7.3 times in miscarriages, while secretion of IL-1α, IL-10, and TNF-α decreased. LPS stimulated the production of IL-1α and IL-6 in samples obtained during surgical abortion. LPS stimulated IL-1α and TNF-α secretion in miscarriages, while the level of IL-6 production decreased significantly. It is hypothesized that increased production of IL-1α and IL-6 and attenuation of the antiinflammatory effect of IL-10 play an important role in the pathogenesis of miscarriages at early stages of gestation. The results suggest that cytokine regulation of the fetus rejection is different at early and late stages of gestation.
In this study, tissue concentrations of renin and angiotensins in human placental villi during early pregnancy and contents of renin and angiotensin I (A I) secreted by cultured chorion were measured by radioimmunal assay (RIA). The results are as follows. During early pregnancy, the human chorion contains renin and A II. The activity of renin is much higher at 6th week of gestation, but as gestation proceeds, it decreases gradually, while A II shows somewhat increased change. The activity of renin secreted by cultured chorion can also be measured. A I in human placental villi can not be detected by RIA in chorion leaves or their culturing fluid. These results indicate that renin-angiotensin system may exist independently in human placental villi during early pregnancy.
Chorionic villi from first trimester and term human placentas have been incubated in vitro and shown to release the lysosomal enzymes, beta-hexosaminidase, alpha-glucosidase and beta-glucuronidase. There was negligible release of the cytoplasmic enzyme, lactate dehydrogenase, under the same conditions. The first trimester villi released proportionally more of their lysosomal enzyme content than did the term villi. Extracellular levels of beta-hexosaminidase were raised and those of alpha-glucosidase and beta-glucuronidase were lowered when tissue was incubated with 1 microM colchicine, suggesting that microtubules are involved in the control of lysosomal enzyme release from placental villi.