We previously showed that a significant number of failing pregnancies are associated with production of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) having relatively low bioactivity. The present study was designed to compare the secretion of intact, immunoreactive hCG to the secretion of bioactive hCG during trophoblast differentiation, and to test the hypothesis that the lower bioactive: immunoreactive hCG ratios in failing pregnancies are related to reduced or impaired trophoblast differentiation. Cytotrophoblast cells were isolated from term placentas and cultured under conditions that induced or did not induce syncytiotrophoblast formation. Culture media were collected at regular intervals up to 72 h and levels of immunoreactive and bioactive hCG were measured. The differentiation of cytotrophoblast cells to multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast was monitored by immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy. During the 72 h culture period, concentrations of immunoreactive and bioactive hCG increased in both differentiating and non-differentiating cells. However, the concentrations of immunoreactive and bioactive hCG were higher under culture conditions that promoted trophoblast differentiation. Furthermore, the ratio of bioactive hCG to immunoreactive hCG was higher in differentiating cultures. When differentiation was inhibited by dimethyl sulfoxide, the secretion of bioactive hCG was reduced and the bioactive: immunoreactive hCG ratio did not change. These findings are consistent with the idea that production of bioactive hCG accompanies syncytiotrophoblast formation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Early pregnancy : biology and medicine : the official journal of the Society for the Investigation of Early Pregnancy|
|State||Published - Dec 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology