Regulation of trophoblast beta 1-integrin expression by contact with endothelial cells

Twanda L. Thirkill, Sonia R. Hendren, Arlen Soghomonians, Natalie F. Mariano, Abdul I. Barakat, Gordon C Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: In human and non-human primates, migratory trophoblasts penetrate the uterine epithelium, invade uterine matrix, and enter the uterine vasculature. Invasive trophoblasts show increased expression of β1 integrin. Since trophoblast migration within the uterine vasculature involves trophoblast attachment to endothelial cells lining the vessel walls, this raises the possibility that cell-cell contact and/or factors released by endothelial cells could regulate trophoblast integrin expression. To test this, we used an in vitro system consisting of early gestation macaque trophoblasts co-cultured on top of uterine microvascular endothelial cells. Results: When cultured alone, trophoblasts expressed low levels of β1 integrin as determined by quantitative immunofluorescence microscopy. When trophoblasts were cultured on top of endothelial cells for 24 h, the expression of trophoblast β1 integrin was significantly increased as determined by image analysis. β1 Integrin expression was not increased when trophoblasts were cultured with endothelial cell-conditioned medium, suggesting that upregulation requires direct contact between trophoblasts and endothelial cells. To identify endothelial cell surface molecules responsible for induction of trophoblast integrin expression, trophoblasts were cultured in dishes coated with recombinant platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), or αVβ3 integrin. Trophoblast β1 integrin expression (assessed by immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blotting) was increased when PECAM-1 or αβ3 integrin, but not ICAM-1, was used as substrate. Conclusions: Direct contact between trophoblasts and endothelial cells increases the expression of trophoblast β1 integrin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalCell Communication and Signaling
StatePublished - Jun 9 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of trophoblast beta 1-integrin expression by contact with endothelial cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this