Expression of beta chemokines in explants and trophoblasts from early and term human placentae

Am J Reprod Immunol. 2001 Nov;46(5):309-17. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0897.2001.d01-17.x.


Problem: Implantation of human embryo requires expression of inflammatory cytokines and local attraction of T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Chemokines are chemoattractants for these cells in classical inflammation. We speculated that they could also be involved in implantation.

Method of study: We assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry the presence of three classical beta chemokines Macrophage Inflammatory Protein 1 (MIP1)alpha, MIP1beta and Regulated upon activation, normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES) in cultures of placental villi or isolated trophoblasts derived from human first trimester and term placenta.

Results: Explant culture assays were positive for these three chemokines, with important quantitative variations between individuals. Half of the highly purified trophoblasts cultures were found by ELISA and RT-PCR to secrete in vitro MIP1alpha and MIP1beta. RANTES was never detected by ELISA in trophoblasts cultures, albeit we could detect a low amount of messenger RNA. Immunohistochemistry experiments show that Hofbauer cells and the trophoblast layer are a secretion site of MIP1beta in term placenta, and that cytotrophoblasts are able to secrete this chemokine in early placenta.

Conclusion: Human placenta is a site of secretion of chemokines that could be involved in establishment of pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokine CCL5 / biosynthesis
  • Chemokines, CC / biosynthesis*
  • Chemokines, CC / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Placenta / immunology
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Trophoblasts / immunology
  • Trophoblasts / metabolism*


  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger