Trophoblast stem cells: models for investigating trophectoderm differentiation and placental development.
ABSTRACT The placenta is an ephemeral organ containing diverse populations of trophoblasts that are all derived from the embryonic trophectoderm but have morphological, functional, and molecular diversity within and across species. In hemochorial placentation, these cells play especially important roles, interfacing with and modifying the cells of the maternal decidua. Within the rapidly growing placenta, it has been shown that there are trophoblast stem cells well characterized in the mouse and postulated but not well understood in primates. This review will discuss the characteristics of candidates for human and nonhuman primate trophoblast stem cells, present the diverse methods of their generation, and propose future prospects for experimental systems in which they can shed light on developmental and pathophysiological processes in human pregnancy.
SourceAvailable from: Maria Krivega[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During human pre-implantation development the totipotent zygote divides and undergoes a number of changes that lead to the first lineage differentiation in the blastocyst displaying trophectoderm and inner cell mass on day 5. The trophectoderm is a differentiated epithelium needed for implantation and the inner cell mass (ICM) forms the embryo proper and serves as a source for pluripotent embryonic stem cells. The blastocyst implants around day 7. The second lineage differentiation occurs in the ICM after implantation resulting in specification of primitive endoderm and epiblast. Knowledge on human pre-implantation development is limited due to ethical and legal restrictions on embryo research and scarcity of materials. Studies in the human are mainly descriptive and lack functional evidence. Most information on embryo development is obtained from animal models and embryonic stem cell cultures and should be extrapolated with caution. This paper reviews totipotency and the molecular determinants and pathways involved in lineage segregation in the human embryo, as well as the role of embryonic genome activation, cell cycle features and epigenetic modifications.Molecular Human Reproduction 04/2014; DOI:10.1093/molehr/gau027 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background In mammals, maternal differentially methylated regions (DMRs) acquire DNA methylation during the postnatal growth stage of oogenesis, with paternal DMRs acquiring DNA methylation in the perinatal prospermatagonia. Following fusion of the male and female gametes, it is widely accepted that murine DNA methylation marks at the DMRs of imprinted genes are stable through embryogenesis and early development, until they are reprogrammed in primordial germ cells. However, the DNA methylation dynamics at DMRs of bovine imprinted genes during early stages of development remains largely unknown. The objective of this investigation was to analyse the methylation dynamics at imprinted gene DMRs during bovine embryo development, from blastocyst stage until implantation. Results To this end, pyrosequencing technology was used to quantify DNA methylation at DMR- associated CpG dinucleotides of six imprinted bovine genes (SNRPN, MEST, IGF2R, PLAGL1, PEG10 and H19) using bisulfite-modified genomic DNA isolated from individual blastocysts (Day 7); ovoid embryos (Day 14); filamentous embryos (Day 17) and implanting conceptuses (Day 25). For all genes, the degree of DNA methylation was most variable in Day 7 blastocysts compared to later developmental stages (P < 0.05). Furthermore, mining of RNA-seq transcriptomic data and western blot analysis revealed a specific window of expression of DNA methylation machinery genes (including DNMT3A, DNMT3B, TRIM28/KAP1 and DNMT1) and proteins (DNMT3A, DNMT3A2 and DNMT3B) by bovine embryos coincident with imprint stabilization. Conclusion The findings of this study suggest that the DNA methylation status of bovine DMRs might be variable during the early stages of embryonic development, possibly requiring an active period of imprint stabilization.BMC Developmental Biology 03/2015; 15(13). DOI:10.1186/s12861-015-0060-2 · 2.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: TGFβ super-family proteins, acting via SMAD2/3 pathways, regulate placental function, however, the role of SMAD1/5/8 pathway in the placenta is unknown. This study investigated the functional role of BMP4 signaling through SMAD1/5 in terminal differentiation of primary chorionic gonadotropin (CG)-secreting trophoblast. Primary equine trophoblast cells or placental tissues were isolated from day 27-34 equine conceptuses. Detected by microarray, RT-PCR and qRT-PCR, equine chorionic girdle trophoblast showed increased gene expression of receptors that bind BMP4. BMP4 mRNA expression was 20-60 fold higher in placental tissues adjacent to the chorionic girdle compared to chorionic girdle itself suggesting BMP4 acts primarily in a paracrine manner on the chorionic girdle. Stimulation of chorionic girdle-trophoblast cells with BMP4 resulted in a dose-dependent and developmental stage-dependent increase in total number and proportion of terminally differentiated binucleate cells. Furthermore, BMP4 treatment induced non-CG secreting day 31 chorionic girdle trophoblast cells to secrete CG, confirming a specific functional response to BMP4 stimulation. Inhibition of SMAD2/3 signaling combined with BMP4 treatment further enhanced differentiation of trophoblast cells. Phospho-SMAD1/5, but not phospho-SMAD2, expression as determined by western blotting was tightly regulated during chorionic girdle trophoblast differentiation in vivo, with peak expression of pSMAD1/5 in vivo noted at day 31 corresponding to maximal differentiation response of trophoblast in vitro. Collectively, these experiments demonstrate the involvement of BMP4-dependent pathways in the regulation of equine trophoblast differentiation in vivo and primary trophoblast differentiation in vitro via activation of SMAD1/5 pathway; a previously unreported mechanism of TGFβ signaling in the mammalian placenta.Endocrinology 05/2014; DOI:10.1210/en.2013-2116 · 4.64 Impact Factor