Vitronectin receptors are expressed by macaque trophoblast cells and play a role in migration and adhesion to endothelium

Gordon C Douglas, Twanda L. Thirkill, Thomas N. Blankenship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The objective of this work was to develop an in vitro system that would extend the usefulness of the macaque as a model for studying trophoblast invasion and spiral artery modification. We sought to determine whether trophoblast cells isolated from early gestation macaque placentas expressed vitronectin receptors and tested the idea that these receptors play a role in trophoblast migration and adhesion. Cytotrophoblast cells were isolated from 40-100 day macaque placentas, cultured, and characterized by immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The cells expressed αV, β3, and β1 integrins on their surfaces. Immunohistochemical analysis of early gestation placentas and decidua basalis confirmed that intravascular trophoblast cells express αVβ3/β5. Using migration chambers we found that the trophoblast cells migrated towards vitronectin but not towards bovine serum albumin. This specific migration was blocked by preincubating the trophoblast cells with anti-vitronectin receptor (αVβ3/β5) antibodies. In other experiments, macaque trophoblast cells adhered to myometrial endothelial cells in a time-dependent manner and adhesion was significantly blocked by antibodies against αVβ3/β5 integrin. The results suggest that vitronectin receptors expressed by macaque trophoblast cells play a role in the migratory activity of these cells and may also be important in mediating attachment to endothelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 13 1999


  • Adhesion
  • Endothelium
  • Integrin
  • Invasion
  • Trophoblast
  • Vitronectin receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics


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