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      Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors in Cultured Human Trophoblast Cells from First- and Third-Trimester Placentas

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          Epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors were studied during the in vitro differentiation of human trophoblast cells from first- and third-trimester placentas. Cytotrophoblasts were isolated by enzymatic digestion and purified on a discontinuous Percoll gradient. As analyzed by flow cytometry, 5 % of the cells are in the G<sub>2</sub>M phase in the early placenta and 0% in the term placenta. In culture, the cytotrophoblasts at both gestational ages flatten out, aggregate, and fuse together to form syncytiotrophoblasts. This in vitro morphological differentiation is associated with a threefold increase in the ability to bind specifically <sup>125</sup>I-EGF. Trophoblastic cells from the term placenta have a significantly (p < 0.005) higher receptor number (68.6 ± 9.5 fmol/mg protein) for EGF after 2 days of culture than first-trimester cytotrophoblasts (35.8 ± 2.3 fmol/mg protein). Scatchard plot analysis revealed two classes of binding sites with a similar affinity in both first-trimester and term placentas (9.5 × 10<sup>9</sup> M<sup>_1</sup> for the high-affinity, 0.5 × 10<sup>9</sup> M<sup>-1</sup>for the low affinity site). When <sup>125</sup>I-EGF was affinity cross-linked to cytotrophoblasts, the receptors appeared as a specific band with a molecular weight of 180 kD in SDS-PAGE. This study demonstrates that the culture of cytotrophoblasts offer an appropriate model to study the modulation of EGF receptors.

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          Author and article information

          Horm Res Paediatr
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          02 December 2008
          : 34
          : 5-6
          : 234-239
          Laboratoire de Physiopathologie du Développement, CNRS-URA 1337, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
          181832 Horm Res 1990;34:234–239
          © 1990 S. Karger AG, Basel

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