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Developmental Biology

Human Primary Trophoblast Cell Culture Model to Study the Protective Effects of Melatonin Against Hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced Disruption

Published: July 30th, 2016



1INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier
* These authors contributed equally

This manuscript presents a unique in vitro model of immunopurified human villous cytotrophoblast cells cultured under hypoxia/reoxygenation. This model is suitable to study the protective effects of promising treatments, such as melatonin, on pregnancy complications associated with increased oxidative stress and altered placental function.

This protocol describes how villous cytotrophoblast cells are isolated from placentas at term by successive enzymatic digestions, followed by density centrifugation, media gradient isolation and immunomagnetic purification. As observed in vivo, mononucleated villous cytotrophoblast cells in primary culture differentiate into multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast cells after 72 hr. Compared to normoxia (8% O2), villous cytotrophoblast cells that undergo hypoxia/reoxygenation (0.5% / 8% O2) undergo increased oxidative stress and intrinsic apoptosis, similar to that observed in vivo in pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, preterm birth, and intrauterine growth restriction. In this context, primary villous trophoblasts cultured under hypoxia/reoxygenation conditions represent a unique experimental system to better understand the mechanisms and signalling pathways that are altered in human placenta and facilitate the search for effective drugs that protect against certain pregnancy disorders. Human villous trophoblasts produce melatonin and express its synthesizing enzymes and receptors. Melatonin has been suggested as a treatment for preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction because of its protective antioxidant effects. In the primary villous cytotrophoblast cell model described in this paper, melatonin has no effect on trophoblast cells in normoxic state but restores the redox balance of syncytiotrophoblast cells disrupted by hypoxia/reoxygenation. Thus, human villous trophoblast cells in primary culture are an excellent approach to study the mechanisms behind the protective effects of melatonin on placental function during hypoxia/reoxygenation.

Throughout human pregnancy, the placental cytotrophoblast cells, which are mononucleated stem cells, rapidly proliferate and differentiate into either villous or extravillous cytotrophoblast cells. Extravillous cytotrophoblasts invade and remodel the spiral arteries of the uterine wall. Villous cytotrophoblasts, on the other hand, continue to proliferate, differentiate and fuse to form multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast (the syncytium)1. The maintenance of villous trophoblast homeostasis is essential for fetal well-being and healthy pregnancy. In fact, villous trophoblasts allow maternal-fetal exchange of oxygen and nutrients, and produce essential hormones....

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Placentas were obtained immediately after spontaneous vaginal deliveries from uncomplicated pregnancies at the CHUM-St-Luc Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada, with informed patient consent and approval of ethical committees (CHUM-St-Luc Hospital and INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Laval, QC, Canada).

1. Isolation and Purification of Villous Cytotrophoblast Cells

  1. Solutions and media
    1. Prepare transport media by supplementing Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium High-Glucose (DMEM-HG) with 1% .......

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Isolation and immunopurification of villous cytotrophoblast cells from a normal term placenta obtained by vaginal delivery yielded 1 x 108 viable cells. The placenta weighed 350 g, was 19 cm in diameter, 4 cm tall with discoid shape and transparent membranes. No cotyledon malformation was detected. The umbilical cord had paracentral localization and a length of 56 cm. The purity was evaluated by flow cytometry using vimentin and cytokeratin-7 markers. More than 98% of the cells.......

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In mammals, fetal development is directly dependent on adequate placental function. The developmental origins of health disorders are based on the hypothesis that the cause of diseases manifested later in life can be traced back to early development and that the placenta has a mechanistic role in fetal programming30-32. The placenta is the key mediator of fetal growth and development: it regulates nutrient transfer, protects against harmful exposures, and has major endocrine functions. The development by Klima.......

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Supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) (no. 262011-2009) to CV and March of Dimes Social and Behavioral Sciences Research grant (#12-FY12-179) to CV and JTS; by studentships to LSF from the Ministère de l'éducation, de l'Enseignement supérieurs et de la recherche (MEESR)-Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)-Nature et technologies (NT) and the Fondation Universitaire Armand-Frappier INRS, to HC from the Réseau Québécois en Reproduction-NSERC-CREATE, to AAHT from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and FRQ-Santé, and to JBP from NSERC; by a fellowship to EMAS fr....

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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Curved Metzenbaum Scissors Shandon 9212 surgical equipment (cell isolation) (2 units)
Splinter Forceps Fine 41/2in Fisherbrand 13-812-42 surgical equipment (cell isolation) (2 units)
Scissors 4.5 Str Dissection Fisherbrand 08-940 surgical equipment (cell isolation) (2 units)
Gauze Sponge 10cm X 10cm Cardinal Health 361020733
Oblong Glass Baking Dish Pyrex 1105397 Glassware (2.8L)
Funnel Buchner  Coorstek Inc 10-356E Glassware (114MM DIAMeter)
Watch Glass  pyrex 9985100EMD Glassware
Formalin solution, neutral buffered, 10% Sigma-Aldrich HT501128-4L histological tissue fixative solution
Trypsinizing Flasks Wheaton 355395 Glassware (1 unit)
Disposable Culture Tubes Kimble 73750-13100 Glassware
Borosilicate Glass Pasteur Pipet (22.8 Cm)  Fisherbrand K63B1367820C Glassware
250 Ml Glass Beakers  Fisherbrand KFS14005250 Glassware
Glass Media Bottles With Cap Fisherbrand KFS14395250 Glassware (8 units)
50 Ml Corex Tube  Corning 8422-A (1 unit)
15 Ml Polystyrene Centrifuge Tube Corning 430791
50 Ml Polystyrene Centrifuge Tube Corning 430829
10ml Serological Pipet Corning 11415038
Cell Strainer 100μm Nylon Corning 431752
Absorbant Liner Scienceware 1199918
500 Ml Bottles Top Filter  Corning Pore: 0,22 µm / medium and HBSS preparation
2 Ml Criogenic Vials Corning 430488
Freezing Container, Nalgene Mr. Frosty Sigma-Aldrich C1562-1EA
Peristaltic Pump Pharmacia Fine Chemicals P3 model
Shaking Water Bath Fisher Model 127
Vacuum Pump ABM 4EKFS6CX-4
Sodium Chloride Fisherbrand EC231-598-3 Saline solution 0.9%
Hank’s Buffered Salt Solution (Hbss) Sigma-Aldrich H2387 Quantity: 9.25 (one vial) for 1L of digestion solution
Hydroxypiperazineethansulphonic Acid (Hepes) Life Technologies 15630-080 25mL (1M) for 1L of digestion solution
Trypsin Type I Sigma-Aldrich T8003 9,888U
Deoxyribonuclease Type Iv Roche 10-104-159-001 402,000U
Calcium Chloride Sigma-Aldrich C4901 100mM
Magnesium Sulfate Baker 2500-01 800mM
Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium High Glucose (Dmem) Life Technologies 10564-045
Penicillin/Streptomycin Sulphate Hyclone SV30010
Fetal Bovine Serum Corning 35-010-CV
Percoll Sigma-Aldrich P1644  Density centrifugation media gradient. Volume: 36mL
Isopropanol Acros 42383-0010 50mL
Dimethyl Sulfoxide Sigma-Aldrich 472301
Automacs Magnetic Separator  Miltenyi Biotec Model 003
Automacs Columns  Miltenyi Biotec 130-021-101
Automacs Running Buffer  Miltenyi Biotec 130-091-221
Automacs Rinsing Solution  Miltenyi Biotec 130-091-222
Anti-Human Hla Abc Purified Clone W6/32 Affymetrix eBioscience 14-9983-82 anti-mouse antibody
Anti Mouse Igg Microbeads Miltenyi Biotec 130048401
Multiple Well Plate -  6 Well With Lid Corning 3335 Cell Bind surface
Multiple Well Plate -  24 Well With Lid Corning 3337 Cell Bind surface
Multiple Well Plate -  96 Well With Lid Corning 3300 Cell Bind surface
Modular Incubator Chamber  Billups-Rothenberg MIC-101 A set of two is necessary for simultaneous to generate normoxia and hypoxia/reoxygenation conditions
Single Flow Meter Billups-Rothenberg SFM3001
50 Mm In-Line Filter  Whatman 6721-5010 PTFE, pore: 1.0 µm
Gas Regulator Pro Star PRS301233 A set of two is necessary for simultaneous to generate normoxia and hypoxia/reoxygenation conditions
Gas Hose Class Vi Clear 5/16  Parker 100-05070102 3 pieces with ~ 0.5 m
17 Mm Adjustable Gas Hose Clamp Tiewraps THCSS-16
Normoxia Gas Cylinder  Praxair NI CDOXR1U-K Size K (3rd trimester‘s composition: 5% CO2, 8% O2, Bal. N2)
Normoxia Gas Cylinder  Praxair NI CDOXR1U-K Size K (3rd trimester‘s composition: 5% CO2, 0.5% O2, Bal. N2)
Oxygen Microelectrode Mi-730 Microelectrodes INC 84477
Oxygen Adapter Microelectrodes INC 3572
ROS Detection Reagent: CM-H2DCFDA  Invitrogen C-400
β-hCG ELISA kit  DRG internatinal EIA-4115
Anti-Vimentin ourified antibody eBioscience 14-9897 Host: mouse
Anti-Cytokeratin 7 (FITC) antibody  Abcam ab119697 Host: mouse
Alexa Fluor 488 Goat Anti-mousse IgG H&L antibody Life Technologies A-11029

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