Immunohistochemical demonstration of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors in normal human placental villi

Placenta. Jan-Feb 1990;11(1):7-15. doi: 10.1016/s0143-4004(05)80438-2.


With an avidin-biotin-peroxidase (or glucose oxidase) complex method using anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody (528 IgG), the tissue and cellular distribution of the receptors for epidermal growth factors (EGF) in normal human placental villi, from 6 to 42 weeks of gestation, were studied. EGF receptors were mainly localized on the free surface of the syncytiotrophoblast that directly faced to intervillous space of the maternal circulation. The cell surface of cytotrophoblasts, except for the region that was adjacent to the basal lamina, was also positive for EGF receptors. The receptors were in close contact to the fetal vessels in the villous stroma. The EGF receptors on the syncytiotrophoblast were thought to be involved in the production and secretion of human chorionic gonadotropin and placental lactogen, probably under the control of maternal EGF. The receptors on cytotrophoblasts may play a role in trophoblastic proliferation, possibly mediated by EGF in the fetal circulatory system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chorionic Villi / analysis*
  • Chorionic Villi / ultrastructure
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Pregnancy


  • ErbB Receptors