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Dev Biol. 2005 Mar 15;279(2):420-32.

Human cytotrophoblasts acquire aneuploidies as they differentiate to an invasive phenotype.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0720, USA.


Through an unusual differentiation process, human trophoblast progenitors (cytotrophoblasts) give rise to tumor-like cells that invade the uterus. By an unknown mechanism, invasive cytotrophoblasts exhibit permanent cell cycle withdrawal. Here, we report molecular cytogenetic data showing that approximately 20 to 60% of these interphase cells had acquired aneusomies involving chromosomes X, Y, or 16. The incidence positively correlated with gestational age and differentiation to an invasive phenotype. Scoring 12 chromosomes in flow-sorted cytotrophoblasts showed that more than 95% of the cells were hyperdiploid. Thus, aneuploidy appears to be an important component of normal placentation, perhaps limiting the proliferative and invasive potential of cytotrophoblasts within the uterus.

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