Isolation and Characterization of Human Cytotrophoblast Cells
One of the unique features of the placenta is its continued differentiation during gestation. We have previously shown by in situ hybridization, that human choriogonadotropin (hCG) α and β subunit mRNAs are expressed in both the cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast regions of the placenta whereas human placental lactogen (hPL) mRNA was expressed only in the syncytium. HCGα mRNA is reduced 6-fold between first trimester and term, and hCGβ mRNA falls to undetectable levels (Boothby et al., 1983). HPL, on the other hand, attains maximal levels at term although the amount of mRNA per gram of tissue is not greatly altered (Hoshina et al., 1982). Based on these data we proposed that the hormonal genes are activated at different stages of placental differentiation (Hoshina et al., 1982, 1983, 1985). We also suggested that hCG α and β subunit expression is dependent on the presence of proliferating cytotrophoblasts whereas hPL expression is sustained in differentiated syncytium.
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