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Dev Biol. 2004 Apr 1;268(1):135-51.

Alpha5beta1, alphaVbeta3 and the platelet-associated integrin alphaIIbbeta3 coordinately regulate adhesion and migration of differentiating mouse trophoblast cells.

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  • 1C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201-1415, USA.


During blastocyst implantation, interaction between integrins on the apical surface of the trophoblast and extracellular matrix (ECM) in the endometrium anchors the embryo to the uterine wall. Strong adhesion of the blastocyst to fibronectin (FN) requires integrin signaling initiated by exogenous fibronectin. However, it is not known how integrin signaling enhances blastocyst adhesion. We present new evidence that the integrin, alphaIIbbeta3, plays a key role in trophoblast adhesion to fibronectin during mouse peri-implantation development. Trafficking of alphaIIb to the apical surface of the trophoblast increased dramatically after blastocysts were exposed to fibronectin, whereas other fibronectin-binding integrins, alpha5beta1 and alphaVbeta3, were resident at the apical surface before ligand exposure. Functional comparisons among the three integrins revealed that ligation of alpha5beta1 most efficiently strengthened blastocyst fibronectin-binding activity, while subsequent trophoblast cell migration was dependent primarily on the beta3-class integrins. In vivo, alphaIIb was highly expressed by invasive trophoblast cells in the ectoplacental cone and trophoblast giant cells of the parietal yolk sac. These data demonstrate that trafficking of alphaIIb regulates adhesion between trophoblast cells and fibronectin as invasion of the endometrium commences.

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