Trophoblasts and shear stress induce an asymmetric distribution of ICAM-1 in uterine endothelial cells

Tim C. Cao, Twanda L. Thirkill, Mark Wells, Abdul I. Barakat, Gordon C Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Problem: We have used an in vitro co-culture system consisting of early gestation macaque trophoblasts cultured on top of human uterine microvascular endothelial cells (UtMVECs) to investigate the inflammatory response of endothelial cells to trophoblasts under shear stress conditions. Method of study: Uterine microvascular endothelial cells and trophoblasts were co-cultured in a parallel plate chamber under shear stress (15 dyn/cm2) conditions. The distribution and expression of endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) was quantified by immunofluorescence image analysis and flow cytometry. Endothelial regulated upon activation normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) secretion was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and permeability was assessed using fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran. Results: Intercellular adhesion molecule-1, but not vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 or platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1, was re-distributed towards the downstream edge of endothelial cells when the cells were co-cultured with trophoblasts under shear stress conditions. Changes in ICAM-1 distribution were also observed when UtMVECs were co-cultured with rophoblast-conditioned medium under shear stress conditions. Incubation of UtMVECs with trophoblast-conditioned medium increased endothelial permeability, RANTES secretion, and trophoblast adhesion. Conclusion: These data support the idea that trophoblasts induce an inflammatory response in uterine endothelial cells that could enhance trophoblast invasion and transmigration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-181
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Adhesion molecule
  • Migration
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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