Human cytotrophoblasts acquire aneuploidies as they differentiate to an invasive phenotype

Dev Biol. 2005 Mar 15;279(2):420-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.12.035.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aneuploidy*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 16
  • Chromosomes, Human, X
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y
  • Cytogenetic Analysis
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Phenotype*
  • Placenta / cytology
  • Pregnancy
  • Trophoblasts / cytology
  • Trophoblasts / physiology*