Publications by authors named "Diana M Morales-Prieto"

33 Publications

Smoking for two- effects of tobacco consumption on placenta.

Mol Aspects Med 2021 Sep 11:101023. Epub 2021 Sep 11.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany. Electronic address:

Tobacco smoking is an important public health issue recognized by the world health organization as one of the most serious, preventable risk factors for developing a series of pregnancy pathologies. Maternal smoking is positively associated with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and gestational diabetes (GDM), but negatively associated with preeclampsia (PE). In this review, we examine epidemiological, clinical and laboratory studies of smoking effects on immunoregulation during pregnancy, trophoblast function, and placental vasculature development and metabolism. We aim to identify effects of tobacco smoke components on specific placental compartments or cells, which may contribute to the understanding of the influences of maternal smoking on placenta function in normal and pathological pregnancies. Data corroborates that in any trimester, smoking is unsafe for pregnancy and that its detrimental effects outweigh questionable benefits. The effects of maternal smoking on the maternal immune regulation throughout pregnancy and the impact of different tobacco products on fetal growth have not yet been fully understood. Smoking cessation rather than treatment with replacement therapies is recommended for future mothers because also single components of tobacco and its smoke may have detrimental effects on placental function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mam.2021.101023DOI Listing
September 2021

Pregnancy and pandemics: Interaction of viral surface proteins and placenta cells.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2021 11 24;1867(11):166218. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, 07747 Jena, Germany.. Electronic address:

Throughout history, pandemics of infectious diseases caused by emerging viruses have spread worldwide. Evidence from previous outbreaks demonstrated that pregnant women are at high risk of contracting the diseases and suffering from adverse outcomes. However, while some viruses can cause major health complications for the mother and her fetus, others do not appear to affect pregnancy. Viral surface proteins bind to specific receptors on the cellular membrane of host cells and begin therewith the infection process. During pregnancy, the molecular features of these proteins may determine specific target cells in the placenta, which may explain the different outcomes. In this review, we display information on Variola, Influenza, Zika and Corona viruses focused on their surface proteins, effects on pregnancy, and possible target placental cells. This will contribute to understanding viral entry during pregnancy, as well as to develop strategies to decrease the incidence of obstetrical problems in current and future infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2021.166218DOI Listing
November 2021

Molecular characteristics of established trophoblast-derived cell lines.

Placenta 2021 05 4;108:122-133. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, 07747, Jena, Germany. Electronic address:

Introduction: Research on human placental development and function lacks a conclusive in vivo model. To investigate the intracellular molecular mechanisms in trophoblast cells, different cell lines have been established during the last decades. So far, none of these accomplishes all features of primary trophoblast, thus their suitability as well as the transferability of the results has been discussed. The aim of this study is to assess molecular markers and features matching different trophoblast subpopulations in trophoblastic cell lines to provide orientation on their suitability and relevance for distinct research questions.

Methods: The commonly used trophoblastic cell lines, BeWo, JEG-3, HTR-8/SVneo, AC1-M59, AC1-M32, ACH-3P and Swan71 were selected. qPCR and immunoblotting were used to determine expression of characteristic molecular markers. C14MC, C19MC and miR-371-3 miRNA expression were investigated by real time PCR. Proliferation, migration and network stabilization assays were performed. Hormone secretion was determined by chemiluminescent-immunoassays. DNA profiles were obtained by Short Tandem Repeat (STR)-genotyping.

Results: Immortalized cell lines differ from choriocarcinoma-derived ones in the expression of HLA-G, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, VE-cadherin, cadherin-11, cytokeratin 7, vimentin, ADAM12 and PRG2. Compared to choriocarcinoma-derived cell lines, expression of C19MC and hormone secretion were almost absent in immortalized cell lines. Conversely, they express C14MC and exhibit higher migration and network stabilization.

Discussion: The data presented will help justify the use of a cell line to evaluate distinct features of trophoblast biology and pathology. In general, characteristics and markers of choriocarcinoma derived cell lines seem to be more similar to in vivo trophoblast than immortalized cell lines and thus might be regarded as more suitable models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2021.02.022DOI Listing
May 2021

Epithelial Membrane Protein 2 Suppresses Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cell Growth by Inhibition of MAPK Pathway.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 14;22(6). Epub 2021 Mar 14.

Section Pathology of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Jena University Hospital, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Am Klinikum 1, 07747 Jena, Germany.

Epithelial membrane proteins (EMP1-3) are involved in epithelial differentiation and carcinogenesis. Dysregulated expression of EMP2 was observed in various cancers, but its role in human lung cancer is not yet clarified. In this study, we analyzed the expression of EMP1-3 and investigated the biological function of EMP2 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The results showed that lower expression of EMP1 was significantly correlated with tumor size in primary lung tumors ( = 0.004). Overexpression of EMP2 suppressed tumor cell growth, migration, and invasion, resulting in a G1 cell cycle arrest, with knockdown of EMP2 leading to enhanced cell migration, related to MAPK pathway alterations and disruption of cell cycle regulatory genes. Exosomes isolated from transfected cells were taken up by tumor cells, carrying EMP2-downregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) which participated in regulation of the tumor microenvironment. Our data suggest that decreased EMP1 expression is significantly related to increased tumor size in NSCLC. EMP2 suppresses NSCLC cell growth mainly by inhibiting the MAPK pathway. EMP2 might further affect the tumor microenvironment by regulating tumor microenvironment-associated miRNAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22062944DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7999101PMC
March 2021

Influence of high glucose in the expression of miRNAs and IGF1R signaling pathway in human myometrial explants.

Arch Gynecol Obstet 2021 06 11;303(6):1513-1522. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Laboratory of Reproductive and Extracellular Matrix Biology, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Purpose: Several roles are attributed to the myometrium including sperm and embryo transport, menstrual discharge, control of uterine blood flow, and labor. Although being a target of diabetes complications, the influence of high glucose on this compartment has been poorly investigated. Both miRNAs and IGF1R are associated with diabetic complications in different tissues. Herein, we examined the effects of high glucose on the expression of miRNAs and IGF1R signaling pathway in the human myometrium.

Methods: Human myometrial explants were cultivated for 48 h under either high or low glucose conditions. Thereafter, the conditioned medium was collected for biochemical analyses and the myometrial samples were processed for histological examination as well as miRNA and mRNA expression profiling by qPCR.

Results: Myometrial structure and morphology were well preserved after 48 h of cultivation in both high and low glucose conditions. Levels of lactate, creatinine, LDH and estrogen in the supernatant were similar between groups. An explorative screening by qPCR arrays revealed that 6 out of 754 investigated miRNAs were differentially expressed in the high glucose group. Data validation by single qPCR assays confirmed diminished expression of miR-215-5p and miR-296-5p, and also revealed reduced miR-497-3p levels. Accordingly, mRNA levels of IGF1R and its downstream mediators FOXO3 and PDCD4, which are potentially targeted by miR-497-3p, were elevated under high glucose conditions. In contrast, mRNA expression of IGF1, PTEN, and GLUT1 was unchanged.

Conclusions: The human myometrium responds to short-term exposure (48 h) to high glucose concentrations by regulating the expression of miRNAs, IGF1R and its downstream targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00404-020-05940-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8087607PMC
June 2021

Research on nanoparticles in human perfused placenta: State of the art and perspectives.

Placenta 2021 01 28;104:199-207. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Laboratory for Particles-Biology Interactions, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, 9014, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Increasing human exposure to nanoparticles (NPs) from various sources raises concerns for public health, especially for vulnerable risk groups like pregnant women and their developing fetuses. However, nanomedicine and the prospect of creating safe and effective NP-based formulations of drugs hold great promise to revolutionize treatment during pregnancy. With maternal and fetal health at stake, risks and opportunities of NPs in pregnancy need to be carefully investigated. Importantly, a comprehensive understanding of NP transport and effects at the placenta is urgently needed considering the central position of the placenta at the maternal-fetal interface and its many essential functions to enable successful pregnancy. The perfusion of human placental tissue provides a great opportunity to achieve predictive human relevant insights, circumventing uncertainties due to considerable differences in placental structure and function across species. Here, we have reviewed the current literature on the ex vivo human placenta perfusion of NPs. From 16 available studies, it was evident that placental uptake and transfer of NPs are highly dependent on their characteristics like size and surface modifications, which is in line with previous observations from in vitro and animal transport studies. These studies further revealed that special considerations apply for the perfusion of NPs and we identified relevant controls that should be implemented in future perfusion studies. While current studies mostly focused on placental transfer of NPs to conclude on potential fetal exposure, the ex vivo placental perfusion model has considerable potential to reveal novel insights on NP effects on placental tissue functionality and signaling that could indirectly affect maternal-fetal health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2020.12.014DOI Listing
January 2021

Role of IL-36 Cytokines in the Regulation of Angiogenesis Potential of Trophoblast Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Dec 30;22(1). Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, 07740 Jena, Germany.

IL-36 cytokines (the agonists IL-36α, IL-36β, IL-36γ, and the antagonist IL-36Ra) are expressed in the mouse uterus and associated with maternal immune response during pregnancy. Here, we characterize the expression of IL-36 members in human primary trophoblast cells (PTC) and trophoblastic cell lines (HTR-8/SVneo and JEG-3) and upon treatment with bacterial and viral components. Effects of recombinant IL-36 on the migration capacity of trophoblastic cells, their ability to interact with endothelial cells and the induction of angiogenic factors and miRNAs (angiomiRNAs) were examined. Constitutive protein expression of IL-36 (α, β, and γ) and their receptor (IL-36R) was found in all cell types. In PTC, transcripts for all IL-36 subtypes were found, whereas in trophoblastic cell lines only for and . A synthetic analog of double-stranded RNA (poly I:C) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced the expression of IL-36 members in a cell-specific and time-dependent manner. In HTR-8/SVneo cells, IL-36 cytokines increased cell migration and their capacity to interact with endothelial cells. and mRNA and protein, as well as the angiomiRNAs miR-146a-3p and miR-141-5p were upregulated as IL-36 response in PTC and HTR-8/SVneo cells. In conclusion, IL-36 cytokines are modulated by microbial components and regulate trophoblast migration and interaction with endothelial cells. Therefore, a fundamental role of these cytokines in the placentation process and in response to infections may be expected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010285DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794747PMC
December 2020

Immunomodulatory properties of extracellular vesicles in the dialogue between placental and immune cells.

Am J Reprod Immunol 2021 02 27;85(2):e13383. Epub 2020 Dec 27.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany.

Extracellular vesicle (EV)-mediated communication has been implicated in the cooperative alliance between trophoblast and immune cells toward maternal tolerance and placentation. Syncytiotrophoblast cells secrete EVs directly into the maternal circulation, which are taken up by immune cells, endothelial cells, and other cell types. Initial evidence also shows that EVs produced by immune cells are, in turn, incorporated by trophoblast cells and modulate placental responses. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), proteins, and lipid mediators transported in EVs are able to influence proliferation, differentiation, cytokine production, and immunological responses of recipient cells. The molecular alphabet and cellular targets involved in this dialogue are being revealed. Nevertheless, several questions regarding the whole content, surface markers, and biological functions of EVs still remain to be investigated in both physiological and pathological conditions. Analysis of circulating EVs in maternal blood has the potential to serve as a minimally invasive approach to monitoring placental functions and immunological features of pregnancy, aiding in the diagnostics of complications. This review addresses the immunomodulatory properties of EVs and their tasks in the communication between placental and immune cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aji.13383DOI Listing
February 2021

Placental miRNAs in feto-maternal communication mediated by extracellular vesicles.

Placenta 2020 12 11;102:27-33. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany. Electronic address:

A complex network composed of at least 1900 microRNA (miRNA) species orchestrates the development and function of the human placenta. These molecules regulate genes and pathways operating major functional processes in trophoblast cells such as proliferation, invasion, differentiation, and metabolism. Nevertheless, the cellular localization and role of most placental miRNAs remain to be determined. The existence of eutherian- (C14MC) and primate-specific miRNA clusters (C19MC), together with human placenta-specific miRNAs, indicate the relevance of these molecules in evolution and diversification of the placenta, including the acquisition of its unique features in humans. They may be related also to diseases that are exclusively present in primates, such as preeclampsia. Changes in the miRNA expression profile have been reported in several placental pathologies. Which miRNAs are involved in the pathomechanism of these diseases or act to maintain placental homeostasis is uncertain. Placenta-derived miRNAs are packed into extracellular vesicles (EVs) and distributed through the maternal circulation to distant organs, where they contribute to adaptations required during pregnancy. Similarly, the placenta also receives molecular information from other tissues to adapt fetoplacental metabolic demands to the maternal energetic supply. These processes can be impaired in pathologic conditions. Therefore, the collection of circulating placental miRNAs constitutes potentially a minimally-invasive approach to assess the fetoplacental status and to diagnose pregnancy diseases. Future therapies may include manipulation of miRNA levels for prevention and treatment of placental complications to protect maternal health and fetal development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2020.07.001DOI Listing
December 2020

Enrichment and characterization of extracellular vesicles from ex vivo one-sided human placenta perfusion.

Am J Reprod Immunol 2021 08 28;86(2):e13377. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Placenta-Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany.

Problem: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by the placenta are packed with biological information and play a major role in fetomaternal communication. Here, we describe a comprehensive set-up for the enrichment and characterization of EVs from human placenta perfusion and their application in further assays.

Method Of Study: Human term placentas were used for 3 h ex vivo one-sided perfusions to simulate the intervillous circulation. Thereafter, populations of small (sEVs) and large EV (lEVs) were enriched from placental perfusate via serial ultracentrifugation. Following, EV populations were characterized regarding their size, protein concentration, RNA levels, expression of surface markers as well as their uptake and miRNA transfer to recipient cells.

Results: The sEV and lEV fractions from an entire perfusate yielded, respectively, 294 ± 32 µg and 525 ± 96 µg of protein equivalents and 2.6 ± 0.5 µg and 3.6 ± 0.9 µg of RNA. The sEV fraction had a mean diameter of 117 ± 47 nm, and the lEV fraction presented 236 ± 54 nm. CD63 was strongly detected by dot blot in sEVs, whereas only traces of this marker were found in lEVs. Both EV fractions were positive for the trophoblast marker PLAP (placental alkaline phosphatase) and annexin A1. EV internalization in immune cells was visualized by confocal microscopy, and the transfer of placental miRNAs was detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR).

Conclusions: Enriched EV populations showed characteristic features of sEVs and lEVs. EV uptake and transfer of miRNAs to recipient cells demonstrated their functional integrity. Therefore, we advocate the ex vivo one-sided placenta perfusion as a robust approach for the collection of placental EVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aji.13377DOI Listing
August 2021

Doxorubicin induces cytotoxicity and miR-132 expression in granulosa cells.

Reprod Toxicol 2020 Jun 4;96:95-101. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany.

Doxorubicin (DOX) is one of the most commonly used drugs for the treatment of childhood cancers, including leukemia and lymphomas. Despite the high survival rate, female leukemia survivors are at higher risk of ovarian failure and infertility later in life. Treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs like DOX is associated with damage in ovarian follicles, but the affectation grade of granulosa cells remains unclear. To assess and avoid the possible side-effects of DOX, early biomarkers of ovarian injury and chemotherapy-induced ovarian toxicity should be identified. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged in recent years as a promising new class of biomarkers for drug-induced tissue toxicity. In this study, the effects of DOX on cell viability, steroidogenesis, and miRNA expression were studied in primary granulosa cells (GCs) and in two cellular models (COV434 and KGN cells). We report that compared to other chemotherapeutic drugs, DOX treatment is more detrimental to granulosa cells as observed by decrease of cell viability. Treatment with DOX changes the expression of the aromatase gene (CYP19A1) and the secretion of 17β-estradiol (E2) in a cell-specific manner. miR-132-3p is dose-dependently increased by DOX in all cellular models. In absence of DOX, miR-132-3p overexpression in COV434 cells has no effect on E2 secretion or CYP19A1 expression. Altogether, these findings contribute to understanding the hormonal disbalance caused by DOX in human ovarian cells and suggest miR-132 as a putative sensor to predict DOX-induced ovarian toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2020.06.001DOI Listing
June 2020

MiR-519d-3p in Trophoblastic Cells: Effects, Targets and Transfer to Allogeneic Immune Cells via Extracellular Vesicles.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 May 14;21(10). Epub 2020 May 14.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, 07740 Jena, Germany.

Members of the placenta-specific miRNA cluster C19MC, including miR-519d, are secreted by fetal trophoblast cells within extracellular vesicles (EVs). Trophoblast-derived EVs can be internalized by the autologous trophoblast and surrounding maternal immune cells, resulting in coordination of cellular responses. The study of functions and targets of placental miRNAs in the donor and recipient cells may contribute to the understanding of the immune tolerance essential in pregnancy. Here, we report that miR-519d-3p levels correlate positively with cell proliferation and negatively with migration in trophoblastic cell lines. Inhibition of miR-519d-3p in JEG-3 cells increases caspase-3 activation and apoptosis. PDCD4 and PTEN are targeted by miR-519d-3p in a cell type-specific manner. Transfection of trophoblastic cell lines with miR-519d mimic results in secretion of EVs containing elevated levels of this miRNA (EV). Autologous cells enhance their proliferation and decrease their migration ability when treated with EV. NK92 cells incorporate EV-delivered miR-519d-3p at higher levels than Jurkat T cells. EV increases the proliferation of Jurkat T cells but decreases that of NK92 cells. Altogether, miR-519d-3p regulates pivotal trophoblast cell functions, can be transferred horizontally via EVs to maternal immune cells and exerts functions therein. Vesicular miRNA transfer from fetal trophoblasts to maternal immune cells may contribute to the immune tolerance in pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103458DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278925PMC
May 2020

Identification of miRNAs and associated pathways regulated by Leukemia Inhibitory Factor in trophoblastic cell lines.

Placenta 2019 12 12;88:20-27. Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Placenta-Labor, Jena University Hospital, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany. Electronic address:

Introduction: Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) regulates behavior of trophoblast cells and their interaction with immune and endothelial cells. In vitro, trophoblast cell response to LIF may vary depending on the cell model. Reported differences in the miRNA profile of trophoblastic cells may be responsible for these observations. Therefore, miRNA expression was investigated in four trophoblastic cell lines under LIF stimulation followed by in silico analysis of altered miRNAs and their associated pathways.

Methods: Low density TaqMan miRNA assays were used to quantify levels of 762 mature miRNAs under LIF stimulation in three choriocarcinoma-derived (JEG-3, ACH-3P and AC1-M59) and a trophoblast immortalized (HTR-8/SVneo) cell lines. Expression of selected miRNAs was confirmed in primary trophoblast cells and cell lines by qPCR. Targets and associated pathways of the differentially expressed miRNAs were inferred from the miRTarBase followed by a KEGG Pathway Enrichment Analysis. HTR-8/SVneo and JEG-3 cells were transfected with miR-21-mimics and expression of miR-21 targets was assessed by qPCR.

Results: A similar number of miRNAs changed in each tested cell line upon LIF stimulation, however, low coincidence of individual miRNA species was observed and occurred more often among choriocarcinoma-derived cells (complete data set at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/ under GEO accession number GSE130489). Altered miRNAs were categorized into pathways involved in human diseases, cellular processes and signal transduction. Six cascades were identified as significantly enriched, including JAK/STAT and TGFB-SMAD. Upregulation of miR-21-3p was validated in all cell lines and primary cells and STAT3 was confirmed as its target.

Discussion: Dissimilar miRNA responses may be involved in differences of LIF effects on trophoblastic cell lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2019.09.005DOI Listing
December 2019

IL-36 Cytokines: Regulators of Inflammatory Responses and Their Emerging Role in Immunology of Reproduction.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Apr 3;20(7). Epub 2019 Apr 3.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, 07740 Jena, Germany.

The IL-36 subfamily of cytokines has been recently described as part of the IL-1 superfamily. It comprises three pro-inflammatory agonists (IL-36α, IL-36β, and IL-36γ), their receptor (IL-36R), and one antagonist (IL-36Ra). Although expressed in a variety of cells, the biological relevance of IL-36 cytokines is most evident in the communication between epithelial cells, dendritic cells, and neutrophils, which constitute the common triad responsible for the initiation, maintenance, and expansion of inflammation. The immunological role of IL-36 cytokines was initially described in studies of psoriasis, but novel evidence demonstrates their involvement in further immune and inflammatory processes in physiological and pathological situations. Preliminary studies have reported a dynamic expression of IL-36 cytokines in the female reproductive tract throughout the menstrual cycle, as well as their association with the production of immune mediators and cellular recruitment in the vaginal microenvironment contributing to host defense. In pregnancy, alteration of the placental IL-36 axis has been reported upon infection and pre-eclampsia suggesting its pivotal role in the regulation of maternal immune responses. In this review, we summarize current knowledge regarding the regulatory mechanisms and biological actions of IL-36 cytokines, their participation in different inflammatory conditions, and the emerging data on their potential role in normal and complicated pregnancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071649DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6479377PMC
April 2019

Comparison of dienogest effects upon 3,3'-diindolylmethane supplementation in models of endometriosis and clinical cases.

Reprod Biol 2018 Sep 9;18(3):252-258. Epub 2018 Jul 9.

NAVAD LIFE SCIENCES PTE. LTD, Singapore. Electronic address:

Dienogest (DNG) administration is a well-established treatment for endometriosis but bleeding irregularities remain its main disadvantage. Changes in diet, mainly to vegetable consumption, are beneficial in the treatment of estrogen-related pathologies but their use for endometriosis has been poorly studied. In this study, addition of the phytochemical 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) to DNG therapy has been investigated in in vitro and ex vivo models for endometriosis and in a small cohort of women with endometriosis. Endometrial Ishikawa cells were treated with DNG or DIM at dosages from 10 M to 10 M for up to 72 h. Cell proliferation was measured by assessing BrdU incorporation. Endometrial tissue from women with endometriosis and controls was incubated with DNG or a combination of DNG and DIM. Tissue viability was determined using a modified colorimetric MTS assay. 17β-estradiol secretion was quantified by an electro-chemiluminescence immunoassay. Finally, DNG as monotherapy or in combination with DIM was randomly administered to women with endometriosis (n = 8) over 3 months. Bleeding patterns and associated pelvic pain were assessed by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). DNG and DIM significantly reduced cell proliferation in Ishikawa cells. Ex vivo, DIM reduced viability and estradiol secretion specifically in endometriotic but not in normal endometrial tissue. This effect was enhanced by combination with DNG. Endometriosis associated pelvic pain was significantly reduced in patients taking the DNG-DIM combination therapy compared to those taking DNG alone. Bleeding pattern (number and duration of episodes) was significantly improved by addition of DIM to the DNG treatment. In conclusion, addition of DIM enhances effects of DNG ex vivo and may ameliorate bleeding patterns in endometriosis patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repbio.2018.07.002DOI Listing
September 2018

PIM kinases 1, 2 and 3 in intracellular LIF signaling, proliferation and apoptosis in trophoblastic cells.

Exp Cell Res 2017 10 18;359(1):275-283. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Placenta-Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, Am Klinikum 1, 07747 Jena, Germany. Electronic address:

Proviral insertion in murine (PIM) lymphoma proteins are mainly regulated by the Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer Activator of Transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway, which can be activated by members of the Interleukin-6 (IL-6) family, including Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF). Aim of the study was to compare PIM1, PIM2 and PIM3 expression and potential cellular functions in human first and third trimester trophoblast cells, the immortalized first trimester extravillous trophoblast cell line HTR8/SVneo and the choriocarcinoma cell line JEG-3. Expression was analyzed by qPCR and immunochemical staining. Functions were evaluated by PIM inhibition followed by analysis of kinetics of cell viability as assessed by MTS assay, proliferation by BrdU assay, and apoptosis by Western blotting for BAD, BCL-XL, (cleaved) PARP, CASP3 and c-MYC. Apoptosis and necrosis were tested by flow cytometry (annexin V/propidium iodide staining). All analyzed PIM kinases are expressed in primary trophoblast cells and both cell lines and are regulated upon stimulation with LIF. Inhibition of PIM kinases significantly reduces viability and proliferation and induces apoptosis. Simultaneously, phosphorylation of c-MYC was reduced. These results demonstrate the involvement of PIM kinases in LIF-induced regulation in different trophoblastic cell lines which may indicate similar functions in primary cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2017.07.019DOI Listing
October 2017

Involvement of STAT1 in proliferation and invasiveness of trophoblastic cells.

Reprod Biol 2017 Sep 25;17(3):218-224. Epub 2017 May 25.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, Am Klinikum 1, 07747 Jena, Germany.

Trophoblast proliferation and invasion are controlled by cytokines and growth factors present at the implantation site. Members of the Interleukin-6 (IL-6) family of cytokines trigger their effects through activation of intracellular cascades including the Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway. Functions of several STAT molecules in trophoblast cells have been described, but the role of STAT1 remained unclear. Here, potential functions of STAT1 and its activation by Oncostatin M (OSM) have been investigated in an in vitro model. STAT1 expression and phosphorylation were analyzed in human term placenta tissue by immunohistochemistry. HTR-8/SVneo cells (immortalized human extravillous trophoblast cells) were stimulated with OSM, IL-6, IL-11, Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) and Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor. Expression and phosphorylation of STAT1 were analyzed by Western blotting and immunocytochemistry. Fludarabine and STAT1 siRNA were employed for STAT1 depletion. STAT1 transcriptional activity was evaluated by DNA-binding capacity assay. Cell viability and invasion were assessed by MTS and Matrigel assays, respectively. STAT1 was expressed in villous and extravillous trophoblast cells. Low phosphorylation was detectable exclusively in extravillous trophoblast cells. Only OSM and LIF induced phosphorylation of STAT1 in the in vitro model. Challenge with OSM increased cell invasion but not proliferation. Inhibition of STAT1 by fludarabine treatment or STAT1 siRNA transfection reduced cell viability and invasiveness in presence and absence of OSM. These results indicate the potential involvement of STAT1 in the regulation of trophoblast behavior. Furthermore, STAT 1 functions are more efficiently inhibited by blocking its expression than its phosphorylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repbio.2017.05.005DOI Listing
September 2017

IFPA meeting 2016 workshop report II: Placental imaging, placenta and development of other organs, sexual dimorphism in placental function and trophoblast cell lines.

Placenta 2017 12 6;60 Suppl 1:S10-S14. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Center for Reproductive Health, MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA. Electronic address:

Workshops are an important part of the IFPA annual meeting as they allow for discussion of specialized topics. At IFPA meeting 2016 there were twelve themed workshops, four of which are summarized in this report. These workshops addressed challenges, strengths and limitations of techniques and model systems for studying the placenta, as well as future directions for the following areas of placental research: 1) placental imaging; 2) sexual dimorphism; 3) placenta and development of other organs; 4) trophoblast cell lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2017.02.021DOI Listing
December 2017

MicroRNA-141 is upregulated in preeclamptic placentae and regulates trophoblast invasion and intercellular communication.

Transl Res 2016 06 4;172:61-72. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, Bachstraße 18, Jena 07743, Germany. Electronic address:

Preeclampsia (PE) is one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Abnormal expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) occurs in several pregnancy diseases including PE. Placental trophoblast cells express a specific set of miRNAs which changes during pregnancy. These miRNAs can be released within extracellular vesicles (EVs) and mediate intercellular communication. miR-141 is a pregnancy-related miRNA which is expressed by trophoblast cells at increased levels in maternal plasma in the third trimester. We hypothesize that miR-141 is abnormally expressed in PE placentae, controls trophoblast, and immune cell functions and is involved in the intercellular communication between fetal trophoblast and maternal immune cells. Expression of miR-141 was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) in normal and preeclamptic placentae and in 2 different trophoblastic cell lines, JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo. Changes in JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo cell proliferation and invasion were investigated after miR-141 inhibition and overexpression by MTS-, BrdU-, and Matrigel assays. EVs from miR-141 transfected cells were isolated from supernatants and characterized by NanoSight analysis and qPCR. Proliferation of Jurkat T cells and invasion of HTR-8/SVneo cells were investigated after treatment with EVs containing different miR-141 levels. miR-141 expression was higher in placentae from PE patients compared with those from normal pregnancies. miR-141 inhibition in trophoblastic cells resulted in decreased cell viability and reduced invasion capability. After transfection with miR-141-mimic, trophoblastic cells secreted EVs with increased miR-141 content. These vesicles did not exert effects on trophoblastic cell invasion but reduced Jurkat T cell proliferation. In conclusion, miR-141 regulates major functions of trophoblastic and immune cells. Trophoblast cells release EVs whose miRNA content can be modified by transfection of origin cells. Furthermore, elevated levels of miR-141 can be transferred from trophoblast to immune cells by release and internalization of EVs suggesting their role in the immune regulation of normal and pathologic pregnancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trsl.2016.02.012DOI Listing
June 2016

Placental Microparticles and MicroRNAs in Pregnant Women with Plasmodium falciparum or HIV Infection.

PLoS One 2016 12;11(1):e0146361. Epub 2016 Jan 12.

ISGlobal, Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB), Hospital Clínic-Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: During pregnancy, syncytiotrophoblast vesicles contribute to maternal tolerance towards the fetus, but also to pathologies such as pre-eclampsia. The aim of the study was to address whether Plasmodium falciparum and HIV infections in pregnancy affect the secretion, microRNA content and function of trophoblast microparticles.

Methods: Microparticles were isolated and characterized from 122 peripheral plasmas of Mozambican pregnant women, malaria- and/or HIV-infected and non-infected. Expression of placenta-related microRNAs in microparticles was analysed by qPCR and the effect of circulating microparticles on dendritic cells assessed by phenotype analysis and cytokine/chemokine measurement.

Results: Concentrations of total and trophoblast microparticles detected by flow cytometry were higher in HIV-positive (P = 0.005 and P = 0.030, respectively) compared to non-infected mothers, as well as in women delivering low birthweight newborns (P = 0.032 and P = 0.021, respectively). miR-517c was overexpressed in mothers with placental malaria (P = 0.034), compared to non-infected. Microparticles from HIV-positive induced a higher expression of MHCII (P = 0.021) and lower production of MCP1 (P = 0.008) than microparticles from non-infected women.

Conclusions: In summary, alterations in total and trophoblast microparticles associated with malaria and HIV in pregnant women may have an immunopathogenic role. The potential for placental-derived vesicles and microRNAs as biomarkers of adverse outcomes during pregnancy and malaria infection should be confirmed in future studies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146361PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4710532PMC
July 2016

Gal-1 silenced trophoblast tumor cells (BeWo) show decreased syncytium formation and different miRNA production compared to non-target silenced BeWo cells.

Cell Adh Migr 2016 03 29;10(1-2):28-38. Epub 2015 Sep 29.

a Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich , Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology , Munich , Germany.

Galectin-1 (gal-1), a member of the mammalian β-galactoside-binding proteins, exerts biological effects by recognition of glycan ligands, including those involved in cell adhesion and growth regulation. In previous studies, we demonstrated that gal-1 induces cell differentiation processes on the membrane of choriocarcinoma cells BeWo, including the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) REarranged during Transfection (RET), Janus Kinase 2 (JAK2) and Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR3). Furthermore, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases (MAPK) and serine/threonine kinases were phosphorylated by gal-1. In addition, gal-1 in trophoblast cells in vitro induced syncytium formation especially after concentration dependent stimulation of the cells with this galectin. This is in contrast to MAPK-inhibitor U0126 that reduced syncytium formation of BeWo cells. The aim of this study was to analyze the syncytium formation abilities of BeWo cells that were gal-1 silenced. We found a significantly reduced syncytium formation rate in gal-1 silenced BeWo cells. In addition, these cells show a different miRNA expression profile. In summary, we found that gal-1 is a major trigger for fusion processes in BeWo cells. This function is accompanied by different regulation of miRNA synthesis in the BeWo cell culture model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19336918.2015.1089377DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4853045PMC
March 2016

Dissimilar microRNA-21 functions and targets in trophoblastic cell lines of different origin.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2015 Nov 29;68:187-96. Epub 2015 Aug 29.

Placenta-Lab, Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, Bachstrasse 18, 07743 Jena, Germany.

Trophoblast cells express a singular miRNA expression profile which varies during pregnancy and whose alteration may be associated with pregnancy complications. miR-21, a widely known oncomir, is highly expressed in human placenta but its role in regulating trophoblast cells remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate miR-21 functions and targets in HTR-8/SVneo immortalized trophoblast and JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cells, which are trophoblast cell models that differ in their cellular origin. Cells were transfected with miR-21-antagomir, -mimic or their respective controls. Following, cell proliferation (BrdU), migration (Transwell and scratch wound-healing assays), invasion (Matrigel assays) and apoptosis (flow cytometry, TUNEL assay and Western blotting) were assessed. Expression of the potential miR-21 targets phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) were analyzed by Western blotting. Inhibition of miR-21 decreased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo cells and additionally, induced apoptosis in JEG-3 cells. Silencing of miR-21 enhanced PDCD4 expression only in JEG-3 cells, and PTEN expression only in HTR-8/SVneo cells. Inhibition of miR-21 significantly increased phosphorylation of AKT in HTR-8/SVneo cells. In conclusion, miR-21 has cell-specific targets depending upon the origin of trophoblastic cells. Furthermore, miR-21 regulates major cellular processes including cell growth, migration, invasion and apoptosis suggesting that its impairment may lead to placental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2015.08.018DOI Listing
November 2015

STAT5 is Activated by Epidermal Growth Factor and Induces Proliferation and Invasion in Trophoblastic Cells.

Reprod Sci 2015 Nov 9;22(11):1358-66. Epub 2015 Apr 9.

Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, Placenta-Lab, Bachstraße, Jena, Germany.

Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is expressed by decidual and trophoblast cells and influences manifold cellular functions during embryo implantation. Thus far, signaling of EGF via Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 5 (STAT5) has been only partially investigated. STAT5 stimulates proliferation and cell cycle progression in several cell types. Its dysregulation is associated with pregnancy. The aim of this study was to investigate STAT5 activation and function mediated by EGF in 2 trophoblastic cell lines, namely, HTR8/SVneo and JAR. Additionally, expression of STAT5B messenger RNA (mRNA) in trophoblast models has been compared to that of primary cells isolated from term placentas. Our results demonstrate the highest STAT5B mRNA expression in isolated trophoblast cells, lower expression in HTR8/SVneo cells, and the significantly lowest in JAR cells. Moreover, EGF-mediated STAT5 activation increases cell proliferation and viability in both cell lines. The STAT5 knockdown results in significant decrease in cell viability induced by EGF. Only in HTR8/SVneo cells, invasion decreases after STAT5 silencing and this effect cannot be rescued by further addition of EGF. These results demonstrate that STAT5 activated by EGF constitutes an important cascade for the regulation of cell proliferation and invasion in trophoblast cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1933719115578923DOI Listing
November 2015

Only humans have human placentas: molecular differences between mice and humans.

J Reprod Immunol 2015 Apr 12;108:65-71. Epub 2015 Mar 12.

Klinik für Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe, Abteilung für Geburtshilfe, Placenta-Labor, Universitätsklinikum Jena, Bachstr. 18, 07743 Jena, Germany.

The placenta is one of the organs with the highest evolutionary diversity among animal species. In consequence, an animal model that reflects human placentation exactly does not exist. However, the mouse is the most frequently used animal model for placenta and pregnancy research. It possesses a hemochorial placenta, which is similar, but also different from the human placenta. The question whether the similarities are sufficient for the achievement of useful results with regard to human pregnancy was debated recently at the 11th Congress of the European Society for Reproductive Immunology (Budapest, Hungary). Here, we discuss the molecular features of the human placenta that are restricted to primates or even to humans. Many of the primate-specific genetic novelties, e.g., the large microRNA cluster on chromosome 19, have been detected during the last 10-15 years and could not be referred to in earlier discussions. Now, in the light of recent findings and a better understanding of interspecies differences, we conclude that the mouse model is often overvalued. Owing to the increasing number of known human-specific factors in human placentation we consider that many aspects of human placentation can only be understood on the basis of experiments on human cells and tissues in combination with data collections from human subject studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jri.2015.03.001DOI Listing
April 2015

Stimulation of the JAK/STAT pathway by LIF and OSM in the human granulosa cell line COV434.

J Reprod Immunol 2015 Apr 16;108:48-55. Epub 2015 Mar 16.

Placenta-Lab, Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, Germany; Department of Cytology, Histology and Embryology, Biology Faculty, Sofia University, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The development of the follicle and competent oocyte is highly coordinated, requiring interplay among several systems. These implicate endocrine, immune, and metabolic signals, intrafollicular paracrine factors from theca, mural, and cumulus granulosa cells, and the oocyte itself. Granulosa cells play a key role in their interaction. COV434 is one of the few human granulosa cell lines that can be used as an in vitro model for ovarian research. We aimed to evaluate the possible activation of the Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway by IL-6-type cytokines leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and oncostatin M (OSM) in COV434 cells. Expression of GP130 (glycoprotein 130), STAT3 (signal transducer and activators of transcription 3), PIAS3 (protein inhibitor of activated STAT 3), and SOCS3 (suppressor of cytokine signaling 3) genes after stimulation with LIF or OSM was assessed using RT-qPCR (real-time PCR). GP130 transcripts were significantly upregulated after incubation with LIF or OSM for 24h. Expression of the STAT3 gene was stimulated only after incubation with LIF, but not OSM. SOCS3 showed significant upregulation for all time periods and the levels of PIAS3 were initially down- and after 24h upregulated. Furthermore, the major signaling components of the JAK/STAT pathway, GP130 and STAT3, and the kinase activation patterns of STAT3, were examined at protein level. We found constitutive protein expression for GP130, STAT3, pSTAT3(ser727) and upregulation of pSTAT3(tyr705) by LIF and OSM. Our results demonstrate the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway by LIF and OSM in human granulosa cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jri.2015.03.002DOI Listing
April 2015

Oncostatin M and leukaemia inhibitory factor trigger signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 pathways but result in heterogeneous cellular responses in trophoblast cells.

Reprod Fertil Dev 2016 Apr;28(5):608-17

Placenta-Lab, Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, Bachstrasse 18, 07743 Jena, Germany.

Leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and oncostatin M (OSM) are pleiotropic cytokines present at the implantation site that are important for the normal development of human pregnancy. These cytokines share the cell membrane receptor subunit gp130, resulting in similar functions. The aim of this study was to compare the response to LIF and OSM in several trophoblast models with particular regard to intracellular mechanisms and invasion. Four trophoblast cell lines with different characteristics were used: HTR-8/SVneo, JEG-3, ACH-3P and AC1-M59 cells. Cells were incubated with LIF, OSM (both at 10ngmL(-1)) and the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 inhibitor S3I-201 (200µM). Expression and phosphorylation of STAT3 (tyr(705)) and extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 (thr(202/204)) and the STAT3 DNA-binding capacity were analysed by Western blotting and DNA-binding assays, respectively. Cell viability and invasiveness were assessed by the methylthiazole tetrazolium salt (MTS) and Matrigel assays. Enzymatic activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 was investigated by zymography. OSM and LIF triggered phosphorylation of STAT3 and ERK1/2, followed by a significant increase in STAT3 DNA-binding activity in all tested cell lines. Stimulation with LIF but not OSM significantly enhanced invasion of ACH-3P and JEG-3 cells, but not HTR-8/SVneo or AC1-M59 cells. Similarly, STAT3 inhibition significantly decreased the invasiveness of only ACH-3P and JEG-3 cells concomitant with decreases in secreted MMP-2 and MMP-9. OSM shares with LIF the capacity to activate ERK1/2 and STAT3 pathways in all cell lines tested, but their resulting effects are dependent on cell type. This suggests that LIF and OSM may partially substitute for each other in case of deficiencies or therapeutic interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD14121DOI Listing
April 2016

Intranuclear crosstalk between extracellular regulated kinase1/2 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 regulates JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cell invasion and proliferation.

ScientificWorldJournal 2013 30;2013:259845. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

Placenta Lab, Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, Bachstraße 18, 07743 Jena, Germany.

Invasiveness of trophoblast and choriocarcinoma cells is in part mediated via leukemia inhibitory factor- (LIF-) induced activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). The regulation of STAT3 phosphorylation at its ser727 binding site, possible crosstalk with intracellular MAPK signaling, and their functional implications are the object of the present investigation. JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cells were cultured in presence/absence of LIF and the specific ERK1/2 inhibitor (U0126). Phosphorylation of signaling molecules (p-STAT3 (ser727 and tyr705) and p-ERK1/2 (thr 202/tyr 204)) was assessed per Western blot. Immunocytochemistry confirmed results, but also pinpointed the location of phosphorylated signaling molecules. STAT3 DNA-binding capacity was studied with a colorimetric ELISA-based assay. Cell viability and invasion capability were assessed by MTS and Matrigel assays. Our results demonstrate that LIF-induced phosphorylation of STAT3 (tyr705 and ser727) is significantly increased after blocking ERK1/2. STAT3 DNA-binding capacity and cell invasiveness are enhanced after LIF stimulation and ERK1/2 blockage. In contrast, proliferation is enhanced by LIF but reduced after ERK1/2 inhibition. The findings herein show that blocking ERK1/2 increases LIF-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and STAT3 DNA-binding capacity by an intranuclear crosstalk, which leads to enhanced invasiveness and reduced proliferation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/259845DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833059PMC
July 2014

Pregnancy-associated miRNA-clusters.

J Reprod Immunol 2013 Mar;97(1):51-61

Placenta-Labor, Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are expressed in the placenta and can be detected in maternal plasma. An increasing number of studies have been published on the cellular origin, distribution and function of miRNAs in pregnancy. Specific miRNA profiles have been described for the placenta, maternal plasma and several pregnancy disorders. It has been observed that numerous miRNAs, which are predominantly or exclusively expressed during pregnancy, are clustered in chromosomal regions, may be controlled by the same promoters, may have similar seed regions and targets, and work synergistically. The three most eminent clusters are the chromosome 19 miRNA cluster (C19MC), C14MC and miR-371-3 cluster, which is also localized on chromosome 19. MiRNA members of these clusters are not only detected in the placenta, but also in other compartments, e.g. in serum where they have the potential to become novel biomarkers of pregnancy disorders. Additionally, some members are also expressed in a variety of tumors. Antagonism of selected miRNAs or their targets may lead to novel strategies for the development of new drug classes in pregnancy disorders or other diseases. This review summarizes current knowledge on the pregnancy-related miRNA clusters - the C19MC, C14MC and miR-371-3 cluster - in regard to pregnancy and also other, mostly pathological circumstances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jri.2012.11.001DOI Listing
March 2013

AP-1 transcription factors, mucin-type molecules and MMPs regulate the IL-11 mediated invasiveness of JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo trophoblastic cells.

PLoS One 2012 3;7(1):e29745. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Reproductive Cell Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Immunology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi, India.

This study examines the IL-11 mediated activation of downstream signaling and expression of effector molecules to resolve the controversies associated with the IL-11 mediated regulation of the invasiveness of two commonly used trophoblastic cell models viz. JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo cells. It has been reported that IL-11 increases the invasiveness of JEG-3 cells while, reduces the invasiveness of HTR-8/SVneo cells. Invasion assay performed simultaneously for both the cell lines confirmed the above findings. In addition, HTR-8/SVneo cells showed a higher basal invasiveness than JEG-3 cells. Western blot showed the IL-11 mediated activation of STAT3(tyr705) and STAT1(tyr701) in both the cell lines. However, IL-11 activated the ERK1/2 phosphorylation in JEG-3 cells but, inhibited it in HTR-8/SVneo cells. Within 10 min of IL-11 treatment, p-STAT3(tyr705) was localized inside the nucleus of both the cell lines but, there was enhanced co-localization of protein inhibitor of activated STAT1/3 (PIAS1/3) and p-STAT3(tyr705) in HTR-8/SVneo cells and not in JEG-3 cells. This could be reason for the poor responsiveness of STAT3 responsive genes like mucin 1 (MUC1) in HTR-8/SVneo cells and not in JEG-3 cells. Further, microarray analysis of the IL-11 treated cells revealed differential responsiveness of JEG-3 as compared to HTR-8/SVneo cells. Several family of genes like activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcription factors (Jun and Fos), mucin-type molecules, MMP23B etc showed enhanced expression in IL-11 treated JEG-3 cells while, there was no response or decrease in their expression in IL-11 treated HTR-8/SVneo cells. Expression of these molecules was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, HTR-8/SVneo cells also showed a significant decrease in the expression of MMP2, MMP3 and MMP9 upon IL-11 treatment. Hence, IL-11 mediated differential activation of signaling and expression of effector molecules is responsible for the differential invasive response of JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo cells.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029745PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250480PMC
May 2012

Understanding the link between the IL-6 cytokine family and pregnancy: implications for future therapeutics.

Expert Rev Clin Immunol 2011 Sep;7(5):603-9

Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital of Jena, Bachstrasse 18, 07743 Jena, Germany.

Cytokines are involved in almost all processes during the menstrual cycle, the fertilization period and pregnancy. They are expressed in numerous reproduction-related body fluids and tissues. Disorders of cytokine expression patterns may cause pregnancy pathologies. Therefore, cytokines have the potential as new biomarkers in different body compartments for a variety of such pathologies. Furthermore, cytokines may also serve to treat fertility and pregnancy disorders. The IL-6-like family of cytokines is an intensively investigated group of cytokines with well-accepted functions in fertility and pregnancy. This article summarizes current knowledge on IL-6-like cytokines in regard of their role in reproduction and their potential for new strategies in the treatment of reproductive pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1586/eci.11.60DOI Listing
September 2011
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