Opposite effects of transforming growth factor-beta activation and rho-associated kinase inhibition on human trophoblast migration in a reconstituted placental-endometrial coculture system

Fafet, P.; Rebouissou, C.; Maudelonde, T.; Vignais, M. L.


2008-09 / vol 149 / pages 4475-85


Placental implantation involves highly regulated trophoblast invasion of the endometrial stroma. TGFbeta is a known regulator of this process. This study examines the effect of TGFbeta on extravillous cytotrophoblastic cell (EVCT) migration in cocultures of first-trimester human chorionic villus explants and primary human endometrial fibroblasts. Migration of EVCTs was followed by phase-contrast time-lapse microscopy and was shown to highly depend on the endometrial fibroblast matrix. Interstitial EVCT invasion was also analyzed by confocal microscopy of fluorescently prelabeled trophoblasts and endometrial fibroblasts. As expected, addition of TGFbeta led to inhibition of EVCT invasion of the endometrial cell layer. This inhibition was characterized by formation of compact EVCT stacks at migration fronts and displacement of endometrial fibroblasts. We tested the role of the RhoA/Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) pathway, a TGFbeta-dependent pathway known to regulate cell migration. Interestingly, blocking ROCK with the chemical inhibitor Y27632 had an effect opposite to TGFbeta activation because it promoted superficial EVCT migration on the endometrial cell layer. These data suggest a role for ROCK in the TGFbeta-dependent control of trophoblast migration. Furthermore, they indicate that even though ROCK signaling plays a role in human trophoblast cell invasion, EVCT migration can still occur in the absence of ROCK activity.

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IGMM team(s) involved in this publication

Female; Humans; Cells, Cultured; Pregnancy; Adult; Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology; Coculture Techniques; Amides/*pharmacology; Cell Adhesion/drug effects/physiology; Cell Movement/*drug effects; Decidua/drug effects/physiology; Endometrium/*drug effects/metabolism/physiology; Placenta/*drug effects/metabolism/physiology; Pyridines/*pharmacology; rho-Associated Kinases/*antagonists & inhibitors; Signal Transduction/drug effects/physiology; Transforming Growth Factor beta/metabolism/*pharmacology; Trophoblasts/*drug effects/metabolism

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