An improved method for the preparation of human placental syncytiotrophoblast microvilli

Placenta. Oct-Dec 1980;1(4):327-36. doi: 10.1016/s0143-4004(80)80034-8.


A simple procedure is described for the further purification of placental microvillus preparations. Based on previously published methods for the isolation of microvilli from other tissues, it depends on the preferential aggregation of containing structures by Mg2+. In the purified microvillus preparation, the two placental microvillar marker enzymes, alkaline phosphatase and 5'-nucleotidase, were enriched 24-fold and were obtained in 5 per cent yield. Five other microvilla enzymes were also further enriched by the Mg2+-treatment. Marker enzymes for other subcellular components showed that this treatment completely removed contamination by mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum and contamination by lysosomes was decreased three-fold. (Na+ + K+)-activated ATPase was depleted by the Mg2+-treatment as was beta2-microglobulin.

MeSH terms

  • 5'-Nucleotidase
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / analysis
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / analysis
  • Cell Fractionation
  • Cell Membrane / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Methods
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microvilli / analysis*
  • Microvilli / enzymology
  • Nucleotidases / analysis
  • Peptide Hydrolases / analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Trophoblasts / ultrastructure*
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / analysis


  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • Nucleotidases
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • 5'-Nucleotidase
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases