Publication Date


Document Type



Integrins and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) are required for normal placental development. In this study, integrin subunits α4, αv, β1, and β3, and VCAM-1 were investigated for expression in uteroplacental units (gestation day [g.d.] 6 and 8) and placentas (g.d. 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18) of Swiss-Webster mice. All subunits and VCAM-1 mRNA (identified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR]) and protein (detected by immunofluorescence) were present in all tissues throughout gestation. VCAM-1 was expressed strongly in the ectoplacental cone and trophoblast giant cells, α4 was expressed strongly by trophoblast giant cells and moderately by spongiotrophoblast and labyrinthine trophoblast, and αv was expressed more strongly in the spongiotrophoblast than in the labyrinthine zone. The β1 was more strongly expressed in the labyrinthine than the spongiotrophoblast zone, while β3 and VCAM-1 were essentially equal in the two zones. Trophoblast-like SM9–1 cells were positive for all of the adhesion molecules when tested by RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry. Adhesion molecule expression in SM9–1 cells was consistent with expression in the labyrinthine zone. Collectively, the results of this study demonstrate that murine placentas contain mRNA and protein for α4, αv, β1, β3, and VCAM-1, and that expression is cell-specific. These results and the identification of an adhesion molecule-expressing trophoblastic cell line should facilitate future studies on the function of adhesion molecules in placental development.

Original Citation

Bowen, J. A., & Hunt, J. S. (1999). Expression of cell adhesion in molecules in murine placentas and a placental cell line. Biology of Reproduction, 60, 428-434.

Included in

Life Sciences Commons