Immunobiology of Human Trophoblast

  • Y. W. Loke
Part of the Progress in Vaccinology book series (VACCINOLOGY, volume 1)


The placenta is interposed between fetus and mother. It, therefore, plays a central role in the exchange of immunological information between the two. The placental cells that form the ultimate fetal-maternal interface are the trophoblasts. They comprise a heterogeneous population of cells that come into direct contact with a variety of maternal tissues at different locations throughout pregnancy (17). This is represented diagrammatically by Figure 12.1:
  1. 1.

    Enveloping each chorionic villus are two layers of trophoblasts, an inner cytotrophoblast or Langhans’layer and an outer syncytiotrophoblast.The latter can also be seen to line the surface of the intervillous blood sinusoids and to dip into the openings of some uterine veins

  2. 2.

    At the tips of some villi, cytotrophoblast cells proliferate through the overlying syncytiotrophoblast to become cytotrophoblast columns, which anchor the villi to the uterus.



Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Trophoblast Cell Chorionic Villus Extravillous Trophoblast Human Trophoblast 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

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  • Y. W. Loke

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