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Dev Biol. 2005 Aug 1;284(1):12-24.

Determinants of trophoblast lineage and cell subtype specification in the mouse placenta.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, HSC Room 2279, 3330 Hospital Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4N1.


Cells of the trophoblast lineage make up the epithelial compartment of the placenta, and their rapid development is essential for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. A diverse array of specialized trophoblast subtypes form throughout gestation and are responsible for mediating implantation, as well as promotion of blood to the implantation site, changes in maternal physiology, and nutrient and gas exchange between the fetal and maternal blood supplies. Within the last decade, targeted mutations in mice and the study of trophoblast stem cells in vitro have contributed greatly to our understanding of trophoblast lineage development. Here, we review recent insights into the molecular pathways regulating trophoblast lineage segregation, stem cell maintenance, and subtype differentiation.

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