Transcriptional effects of hypoxia on fusiogenic syncytin and its receptor ASCT2 in human cytotrophoblast BeWo cells and in ex vivo perfused placental cotyledons Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that hypoxia down-regulates placental syncytin, which could play a role in altered placentogenesis; we investigated the influence of hypoxia on syncytin and its receptor ASCT2 gene expression in BeWo cells and in ex vivo perfused human cotyledons. STUDY DESIGN: BeWo cells were incubated with deferoxamine or cobalt chloride under normoxia and hypoxia. Additionally, a model of dually ex vivo perfused cotyledons was applied. Under hypoxic and cobalt chloride stimuli syncytin, ASCT2, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), beta-actin, and beta(2)-microglobulin (beta(2)-MG) messenger RNAs were analyzed with the use of real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Hypoxia, deferoxamine, and cobalt chloride markedly decreased syncytin messenger RNA in BeWo cells, whereas ASCT2 messenger RNA was not altered significantly. In isolated perfused cotyledons, hypoxia also reduced syncytin (P<.05) but not ASCT2 messenger RNA. CONCLUSION: Our data provide first evidence that syncytin gene expression is down-regulated by hypoxia, which strengthens the hypothesis that syncytin is reduced in disturbed pregnancies in the course of placental hypoxia.


  • Knerr, Ina
  • Weigel, Corina
  • Linnemann, Knud
  • Dötsch, Jörg
  • Meißner, Udo
  • Fusch, Christoph
  • Rascher, Wolfgang

publication date

  • August 2003

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