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Placenta

The contribution of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) to villous trophoblast differentiation.


PMID 22133578

Abstract

Apoptosis is postulated to be a delayed but important part of the differentiation of placental villous cytotrophoblasts (CT) into functional syncytiotrophoblast (ST). This hypothesis is based on the observation that the externalization of phosphatidylserine and the activation of caspase 8 are required for trophoblast differentiation. In contradiction to this hypothesis we have previously found that differentiation occurs in the presence of both broad spectrum and caspase 8 specific inhibitors. Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) is a mitochondria-associated protein which is known to translocate to the nucleus and induce caspase-independent nuclear condensation, phosphatidylserine externalization and cell death. Thus AIF nuclear translocation may result in the apoptotic-like features associated with trophoblast differentiation and may be an obligatory event for differentiation to proceed. AIF translocation was assessed in isolated primary trophoblasts by optical section microscopy of antibody stained cells. We found AIF to be strongly expressed in the villous trophoblast and that small amounts of AIF were localized to the nucleus of the cells. Significantly, inhibitors of AIF translocation (calpeptin and zFA-fmk) blocked translocation but not differentiation of the cells. We conclude that AIF translocation is not involved in CT differentiation in isolated cell culture.

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C8999
Calpeptin, ≥98% (HPLC)
C20H30N2O4