Hemeoxygenase expression in human placenta and placental bed implies a role in regulation of trophoblast invasion and placental function

Fiona Lyall, Andrew Barber, Leslie Myatt, Judith N. Bulmer, Stephen C. Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the expression of hemeoxygenases HO-1 and HO-2, which are responsible for the production of carbon monoxide (CO), in the human placenta and placental bed and to determine the role of inhibitors of HO on placental perfusion pressure. We hypothesized that HO is expressed within the placenta and that invading cytotrophoblast cells (CTB) express HO isoforms. The expression of HO-1 and HO-2 was studied on placenta and placental bed biopsies, obtained using a transcervical sampling technique, from normal human pregnancies between 8 and 19 wk gestation and at term. In the placenta, HO-2 immunostaining was prominent in syncytiotrophoblast in the first trimester and reduced toward term (P<0.0005). HO-2 endothelial immunostaining was weak in the first trimester, but increased by term (P<0.0005). Within the placental bed, HO-2 was expressed by CTB in cell column, the cytotrophoblast shell, and cell islands. Both intravascular CTB and interstitial CTB expressed HO-2. HO-1 immunostaining was low in the placenta but intense on the CTB within the placental bed. A striking feature was the absence of HO-1 from the proximal layers of cell columns, with strong expression on the more distal CTB layers of the cell columns. In placental perfusion studies, a significant dose- dependent increase in perfusion pressure was observed in the presence of zinc protoporphyrin, an inhibitor of HO. These results suggest a role for CO in placental function, trophoblast invasion, and spiral artery transformation. Hemeoxygenase expression in human placenta and placental bed implies a role in regulation of trophoblast invasion and placental function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-219
Number of pages12
JournalFASEB Journal
Volume14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 27 2000

Keywords

  • HO-1
  • HO-2
  • Pregnancy
  • Proto- porphyrin
  • Spiral artery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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