Ontogeny of the expression and regulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-1 mRNAs by human trophoblast cells during differentiation in vitro

A. Stephanou, L. Myatt, A. L.W. Eis, N. Sarlis, H. Jikihara, S. Handwerger

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During human placental differentiation, mononuclear cytotrophoblast cells fuse and differentiate into syncytiotrophoblast cells. Although syncytiotrophoblast cells have been shown to express interleukin-1α (IL-1α), IL-1β and IL-6, the pattern of expression of these cytokines during placental differentiation is unknown. We have examined the expression of IL-1α IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA during differentiation of cytotrophoblast cells in culture. IL-1α, IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA levels were determined by semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis using glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase as an internal control. All three cytokine mRNA levels decreased markedly during trophoblast differentiation. After 6 days in culture, when almost all the cytotrophoblast cells had fused and differentiated into syncytiotrophoblast cells, the amounts of IL-1α, IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA were decreased by 87.1, 72.1 and 60.9% respectively. Exogenous IL-6 had differential effects on cytokine mRNA expression. When added to placental cultures during the first 6 days of culture, IL-6 markedly inhibited IL-6, IL-1α and IL-1β mRNA expression. However, when added to the cells during days 6-9 of culture, when most of the cells were syncytiotrophoblast cells, IL-6 stimulated IL-1α and IL-1β mRNA expression. The results of these studies indicate that IL-1α, IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA expression decreases markedly during cytotrophoblast differentiation in vitro and that the regulation of trophoblast cytokine mRNA levels changes during differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-496
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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