Mag.a Sandra Haider, PhD
MedUni Wien RESEARCHER OF THE MONTH, December 2017
“Notch1 controls development of the extravillous trophoblast lineage in the human placenta”
Correct development of the human placenta and its different epithelial trophoblasts is crucial for a successful pregnancy. Besides fusing into a multinuclear syncytium, the exchange surface between mother and fetus, progenitors develop into extravillous trophoblasts invading the uterus and its spiral arteries. Remodelling of the latter is necessary to ensure low-pressure blood flow to the developing placenta. Defects in spiral artery remodeling and trophoblast differentiation are associated with severe gestational diseases such as preeclampsia. However, mechanisms controlling human trophoblast development are largely unknown. Our study delineates the first mechanism of extravillous trophoblast lineage development by showing that the receptor Notch1 programs trophoblasts into progenitors of the invasive differentiation pathway.
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