Effect of iron on transferrin receptor expression by human placental syncytiotrophoblast cells

Martha L. Kennedy, Gordon C Douglas, Barry F. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transferrin receptor expression has been examined in primary cultures of morphologically differentiated placental syncytiotrophoblast cells. More than 90% of the cells were multinucleated. Incubation of syncytiotrophoblast for 4 days in the presence of iron salts had no effect on receptor expression assessed by measuring the binding of 125I-labelled transferrin. However, incubation of cells in the presence of human diferric transferrin (10-100 μM) led to a 50% decrease in surface and intracellular receptor expression. This down-regulation was not accompanied by a significant decrease in receptor synthesis. In contrast to syncytiotrophoblast, expression of intracellular transferrin receptors in non-differentiated cytotrophoblast cells decreased when cells were cultured with iron salts; this was accompanied by decreased receptor synthesis. Addition of diferric transferrin to cytotrophoblast cells led to a 50% reduction in surface and intracellular receptor expression, similar to that seen in the syncytiotrophoblast. This reduction was accompanied by a decrease in receptor synthesis. In contrast to that of most cell types, the expression and distribution of trophoblast transferrin receptors were not altered by insulin, epidermal growth factor or hydrocortisone. These characteristics of syncytiotrophoblast transferrin receptor expression may assist in ensuring a supply of iron to the fetus regardless of the maternal iron status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Endocrinology

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