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1 June 2004 The Expression of CXCR4/CXCL12 in First-Trimester Human Trophoblast Cells
Xia Wu, Da-Jin Li, Min-Min Yuan, Ying Zhu, Ming-Yan Wang
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Chemokines and chemokine receptors have been implicated as pivotal players in many physiological and pathological situations, but little is known about the expression and function of chemokines and chemokine receptors at the materno-fetal interface. In this study, we first analyzed the transcription of 18 chemokine receptors in first-trimester human trophoblast cells. Among these receptors, CXCR4 was found highly transcribed. We demonstrated afterward that both CXCR4 and CXCL12 (stromal cell-derived factor-1; SDF-1) were expressed in trophoblast cells. Primary cultured trophoblast cells were also found secreting CXCL12 spontaneously. To identify the functional role of CXCR4/CXCL12 in these cells, we treated trophoblast cells with recombinant human (rh)SDF-1α and analyzed the cell viability and signaling pathway. The results showed that rhSDF-1α increased the viability of trophoblast cells and the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases signaling pathway in vitro. Our findings suggest that first-trimester trophoblast cells express functional CXCR4/CXCL12, which may play an important role in early pregnancy such as stimulating trophoblast cell proliferation or differentiation in an autocrine manner.

Xia Wu, Da-Jin Li, Min-Min Yuan, Ying Zhu, and Ming-Yan Wang "The Expression of CXCR4/CXCL12 in First-Trimester Human Trophoblast Cells," Biology of Reproduction 70(6), 1877-1885, (1 June 2004).
Received: 29 October 2003; Accepted: 1 February 2004; Published: 1 June 2004
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