Advertisement

Placental apoptosis in normal human pregnancy

      Abstract

      OBJECTIVES: The study aims were to conclusively demonstrate apoptosis in the human placenta and to quantify its incidence at different stages of pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN: Placental samples were obtained from 28 first-trimester pregnancies and 38 uncomplicated third-trimester pregnancies. Light microscopy, electron microscopy, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate marker nick end-labeling staining were used to identify apoptosis. Light microscopy was used to quantify its incidence. RESULTS: Apoptosis has been conclusively demonstrated within placental tissue. Quantification of apoptosis (medians and interquartile ranges) was as follows: first trimester (n = 28), 0.07% of cells (0.05% to 0.14%); third trimester (n = 39), 0.14% of cells (0.09% to 0.20%). The incidence of apoptosis was significantly higher in the third trimester than in the first trimester (p < 0.01, Mann-Whitney U test). CONCLUSIONS: Placental apoptosis increases significantly as pregnancy progresses, suggesting that it may play a role in the normal development and aging of the placenta.(Am J Obstet Gynecol 1997;177:57-65)

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Kerr JFR
        • Wylie AH
        • Cume AR.
        Apoptosis: a basic biological phenomenon with wide-ranging implications in tissue kinetics.
        Br J Cancer. 1972; 26: 239-257
        • Wylie AH
        • Duvall E.
        Cell injury and death.
        in: Oxford textbook of pathology. volume 1. Oxford University Press, Oxford1992: 141-147 (principles of pathology)
        • Thompson CB.
        Apoptosis in the pathogenesis and treatment of disease.
        Science. 1995; 267: 1456-1462
        • Wylie AH.
        Apoptosis (the 1992 Frank Rose Memorial Lecture).
        Br J Cancer. 1993; 67: 205-208
        • Kerr IFR
        • Harmon BV.
        Definition and incidence of apoptosis: an historical perspective.
        in: Apoptosis: the molecular basis of programmed cell death. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor1991: 5-29 (Current Communications in Cell and Molecular Biology 3)
        • Sayill J.
        Review: apoptosis in disease.
        Eur J Clin Invest. 1994; 24: 715-723
        • Gavrieli Y
        • Sherman Y
        • Ben-Sasson SA.
        Identification of programmed cell death in situ via specific labelling of nuclear DNA fragmentation.
        J Cell Biol. 1992; 119: 493-501
        • Coles HSR
        • Burne IF
        • Raft MC.
        Large-scale normal cell death in the developing rat kidney and its reduction by epidermal growth factor.
        Development. 1993; 118: 777-784
        • Baker AJ
        • Mooney A
        • Hughes J
        • Lombardi D
        • Johnson RJ
        • Sayill J.
        Mesangial cell apoptosis: the major mechanism for resolution of glomerular hypercellularity in experimental mesangial proliferative nephritis.
        J Clin Invest. 1994; 94: 2105-2116
        • Price E
        • Smith SC
        • Symonds EM
        • Baker PN.
        Placental apoptosis in pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth retardation.
        Hypertens Pregnancy. 1996; (In press)
        • Salafia CM
        • Mill IF
        • Ossandon M
        • Starzyk KA.
        Markers of regulation of apoptosis and cell proliferation in preterm and term placental villi.
        J Soc Gynecol Invest. 1996; 3 ([abstract]): 80A
        • Amato P
        • Zwain I
        • Reed J
        • Yen SSC.
        Expression of Bcl-2 and Bax in human placenta.
        J Soc Gynecol Invest. 1996; 3 ([abstract]): 226A
        • Kim CJ
        • Choe YJ
        • Yoon BH
        • Kim CW
        • Chi JG.
        Patterns of bcl-2 expression in the placenta.
        Pathol Res Pract. 1995; 191: 1239-1244
        • Nelson DM.
        Apoptotic changes occur in syncytiotrophoblast of human placental villi where fibrinoid is deposited at discontinuities in the villous trophoblast.
        Placenta. 1996; 17: 387-391
        • Wilcox MA
        • Johnson IR
        • Maynard PV
        • Smith SJ
        • Chilvers CED.
        The individualised birthweight ratio: a more logical outcome measure of pregnancy than birthweight alone.
        Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1993; 100: 342-347
        • Arends MJ
        • Morris RG
        • Wylie AH.
        Apoptosis: the role of the endonuclease in.
        Am J Pathol. 1990; 136: 593-608
        • Gold R
        • Schmied M
        • Giegerich G
        • Breitschopf H
        • Hartung HP
        • Toyka KV
        • et al.
        Differentiation between cellular apoptosis and necrosis by the combined use of in situ tailing and nick translation technique.
        Lab Invest. 1994; 71: 221-225
        • Yasuda M
        • Umemura S
        • Osamura RY
        • Kenjo T
        • Tsutsumi Y.
        Apoptotic cells in the human endometrium and placental villi: pitfalls in applying the TUNEL method.
        Arch Histol Cytol. 1995; 58: 185-190
        • Tanurea SI.
        Molecular mechanisms of apoptosis.
        in: Apoptosis in normal development and cancer. Taylor and Francis, London1996: 39-59
        • Schwartz LM
        • Osborne BA.
        Programmed cell death, apoptosis and killer genes.
        Immunol Today. 1993; 14: 582-590
        • Schwartz LM
        • Smith SW
        • Jones MEE
        • Osborne BA.
        Do all programmed cell deaths occur by apoptosis?.
        Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993; 90: 980-984
        • Mayhew TM
        • Wadrop E
        • Simpson RA.
        Proliferative versus hypertrophic growth in tissue subcompartments of human placental villi during gestation.
        J Anat. 1994; 184: 535-543
        • Mayhew TM
        • Simpson RA.
        Quantitative evidence for the spatial dispersal of trophoblast nuclei in human placental villi during gestation.
        Placenta. 1994; 15: 837-844