Involvement of connexin 43 in human trophoblast cell fusion and differentiation. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Cell Science Year : 2003

Involvement of connexin 43 in human trophoblast cell fusion and differentiation.


The syncytiotrophoblast is the principal component of the human placenta involved in feto-maternal exchanges and hormone secretion. The syncytiotrophoblast arises from the fusion of villous cytotrophoblasts. We recently showed that functional gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is an important prerequisite for syncytiotrophoblast formation and that connexin 43 (Cx43) is present in cytotrophoblasts and in the syncytiotrophoblast. To determine whether Cx43 is directly involved in trophoblast fusion, we used an antisense strategy in primary cultures of human villous cytotrophoblasts that spontaneously differentiate into the syncytiotrophoblast by cell fusion. We assessed the morphological and functional differentiation of trophoblasts by desmoplakin immunostaining, by quantifying hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) production and by measuring the expression of specific trophoblast genes (hCG and HERV-W). Furthermore, we used the gap-FRAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) method to investigate functional GJIC. Cytotrophoblasts treated with Cx43 antisense aggregated and fused poorly. Furthermore, less HERV-W env mRNA, hCGbeta mRNA and hCG secretion were detected in Cx43 antisense-treated cytotrophoblasts than in cells treated with scrambled antisense. Treatment with Cx43 antisense dramatically reduced the percentage of coupled trophoblast cells. Taken together, these results suggest that Cx43 is directly involved in human trophoblast cell-cell communication, fusion and differentiation.
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inserm-00128436 , version 1 (15-01-2010)



Jean-Louis Frendo, Laurent Cronier, Gwladys Bertin, Jean Guibourdenche, Michel Vidaud, et al.. Involvement of connexin 43 in human trophoblast cell fusion and differentiation.: Cx43and human trophoblast differentiation. Journal of Cell Science, 2003, 116 (Pt 16), pp.3413-21. ⟨10.1242/jcs.00648⟩. ⟨inserm-00128436⟩
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