Distribution of the alpha 1-alpha 6 integrin subunits in human developing and term placenta.

Korhonen M, Ylänne J, Laitinen L, Cooper HM, Quaranta V, Virtanen I
Lab Invest. 1991 65 (3): 347-56

PMID: 1890813

The distribution of the alpha 1-alpha 6 as well as alpha v, beta 1, beta 3 and beta 4 integrin subunits in human first and second trimester and term placentas was studied by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy using a panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). In first and second trimester villi, the alpha 1 and beta 1 integrin subunits were detected in the stromal cells, that were mostly also immunoreactive for desmin. Desmin-positive stromal cells were also found in villi of term placentas, but the stroma was negative for anti-alpha 1 and -beta 1. In the villous trophoblast, anti-alpha 6 and -beta 4 revealed a distinct basal immunoreactivity during all stages of development, whereas immunoreactivity for the alpha 3 and beta 1 subunits emerged during the second and third trimesters. Throughout placental development, endothelia of villous capillaries reacted prominently with anti-alpha 1 and -beta 1. Intermediate trophoblastic cells displayed a somewhat heterogenous immunoreactivity for the beta 1, alpha 1, alpha 3 and alpha 5 integrin subunits, and differed from villous trophoblast also in their lack of expression of the alpha 6 and beta 4 subunits. While nondecidualized endometrial cells displayed weak reactivity for the alpha 1 and beta 1 integrin subunits, the individual decidual cells presented both a basement membrane and a cell surface-confined immunoreactivity for anti-alpha 1, -alpha 3, and -beta 1. The results suggest a role for integrins in placental development, and show that expression of integrins is modulated during the differentiation of trophoblast, villous stroma, and decidual cells. Furthermore, the basal localization of alpha 6 beta 4 and alpha 3 beta 1 integrins suggests that they are employed as basement membrane receptors in the villous trophoblast, and the emergence of the alpha 3 beta 1 complex may reflect that the cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast recognize the basement membrane differently.

MeSH Terms (15)

Capillaries Decidua Delivery, Obstetric Endothelium, Vascular Female Humans Integrins Microscopy, Fluorescence Microvilli Placenta Pregnancy Pregnancy Trimester, First Pregnancy Trimester, Second Tissue Distribution Trophoblasts

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