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Dev Biol. 2014 Mar 15;387(2):131-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.01.015. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

Development of the hemochorial maternal vascular spaces in the placenta through endothelial and vasculogenic mimicry.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, HSC Room 2279, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alta., Canada; Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Medical Genetics, University of Calgary, HSC Room 2279, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alta., Canada T2N 4N1.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, HSC Room 2279, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alta., Canada; Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Medical Genetics, University of Calgary, HSC Room 2279, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alta., Canada T2N 4N1. Electronic address: jcross@ucalgary.ca.

Abstract

The maternal vasculature within the placenta in primates and rodents is unique because it is lined by fetal cells of the trophoblast lineage and not by maternal endothelial cells. In addition to trophoblast cells that invade the uterine spiral arteries that bring blood into the placenta, other trophoblast subtypes sit at different levels of the vascular space. In mice, at least five distinct subtypes of trophoblast cells have been identified which engage maternal endothelial cells on the arterial and venous frontiers of the placenta, but which also form the channel-like spaces within it through a process analogous to formation of blood vessels (vasculogenic mimicry). These cells are all large, post-mitotic trophoblast giant cells. In addition to assuming endothelial cell-like characteristics (endothelial mimicry), they produce dozens of different hormones that are thought to regulate local and systemic maternal adaptations to pregnancy. Recent work has identified distinct molecular pathways in mice that regulate the morphogenesis of trophoblast cells on the arterial and venous sides of the vascular circuit that may be analogous to specification of arterial and venous endothelial cells.

KEYWORDS:

Blood flow; Placenta; Trophoblast; Vasculature

PMID:
24485853
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.01.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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