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Mol Hum Reprod. 1999 Nov;5(11):1059-65.

Interleukin-10 receptors are expressed by basement membrane anchored, alpha(6) integrin(+) cytotrophoblast cells in early human placenta.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, WHO Collaborative Centre for Research in Human Reproduction, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University, Szeged, H-6725, Hungary.


Cytotrophoblast cells produce interleukin (IL)-10 and express IL-10 receptor mRNA in culture. Furthermore, IL-10 dramatically reduces the synthesis of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and the invasivity of cytotrophoblast cells in vitro, suggesting that an autocrine regulatory role in vivo is also possible. To test this hypothesis we investigated the expression of IL-10 receptor protein by first trimester cytotrophoblasts both in vitro and in situ, using flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Flow cytometric analyses demonstrated that 75-80% of cytotrophoblasts are able to bind labelled IL-10, suggesting that these cells possess IL-10 receptors in vitro. Serial sections of early human placentae stained for either alpha(5) and alpha(6) integrin subunits, or for IL-10 receptors respectively, revealed that placental cytotrophoblasts possess cell surface IL-10 receptors not only in vitro, but also in vivo. IL-10 receptors were present mainly on alpha(6) integrin expressing villous cytotrophoblast cells and on alpha(6)-positive cells of invasive cell columns located nearest the villous stroma. Differentiated trophoblasts (i.e. alpha(5)-positive cells and villous syncytiotrophoblasts) showed no reactivity. This differential expression of IL-10 receptors suggests that IL-10 might suppress the invasivity of undifferentiated cytotrophoblast cells, in vivo, preserving their non-invasive state in an autocrine manner. The possible involvement in cytotrophoblast proliferation and/or differentiation is also discussed.

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