Intermediate Conductance Ca2 -Activated K Channels Modulate Human Placental Trophoblast SyncytializationReport as inadecuate

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Regulation of human placental syncytiotrophoblast renewal by cytotrophoblast migration, aggregation-fusion and differentiation is essential for successful pregnancy. In several tissues, these events are regulated by intermediate conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels IKCa, in part through their ability to regulate cell volume. We used cytotrophoblasts in primary culture to test the hypotheses that IKCa participate in the formation of multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast and in syncytiotrophoblast volume homeostasis. Cytotrophoblasts were isolated from normal term placentas and cultured for 66 h. This preparation recreates syncytiotrophoblast formation in vivo, as mononucleate cells 15 h fuse into multinucleate syncytia 66 h concomitant with elevated secretion of human chorionic gonadotropin hCG. Cells were treated with the IKCa inhibitor TRAM-34 10 µM or activator DCEBIO 100 µM. Culture medium was collected to measure hCG secretion and cells fixed for immunofluorescence with anti-IKCa and anti-desmoplakin antibodies to assess IKCa expression and multinucleation respectively. K+ channel activity was assessed by measuring 86Rb efflux at 66 h. IKCa immunostaining was evident in nucleus, cytoplasm and surface of mono- and multinucleate cells. DCEBIO increased 86Rb efflux 8.3-fold above control and this was inhibited by TRAM-34 85%; p<0.0001. Cytotrophoblast multinucleation increased 12-fold p<0.05 and hCG secretion 20-fold p<0.05, between 15 and 66 h. Compared to controls, DCEBIO reduced multinucleation by 42% p<0.05 and hCG secretion by 80% p<0.05. TRAM-34 alone did not affect cytotrophoblast multinucleation or hCG secretion. Hyposmotic solution increased 86Rb efflux 3.8-fold p<0.0001. This effect was dependent on extracellular Ca2+, inhibited by TRAM-34 and 100 nM charybdotoxin 85% p<0.0001 and 43% respectively but unaffected by 100 nM apamin. In conclusion, IKCa are expressed in cytotrophoblasts and their activation inhibits the formation of multinucleated cells in vitro. IKCa are stimulated by syncytiotrophoblast swelling implicating a role in syncytiotrophoblast volume homeostasis. Inappropriate activation of IKCa in pathophysiological conditions could compromise syncytiotrophoblast turnover and volume homeostasis in pregnancy disease.

Author: Paula Díaz , Amber M. Wood, Colin P. Sibley, Susan L. Greenwood



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