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At d11.5 of gestation, the placenta contains a mixture of proliferating and differentiating trophoblast cells, while at gestation d18.5, the placenta is fully mature and comprised of differentiated trophoblast cells.

D11.5 tissue samples contained all trophoblast present within the placentation site, whereas d18.5 tissue samples were restricted to the junctional zone.

Animals were housed in an environmentally controlled facility with lights on from 0600-2000 h and were allowed free access to food and water.

Timed pregnancies were generated by cohabitation of female and male animals.

These cells are located at the maternal-fetal interface and are capable of invasive and endocrine functions, which are necessary for successful pregnancy.

Rcho-1 trophoblast stem cells can be effectively used as a model for investigating trophoblast cell differentiation.

Rcho-1 trophoblast cells are remarkable in that they can be maintained in a stem cell state or induced to differentiate along the trophoblast giant cell lineage [].

The University of Kansas Animal Care and Use Committee approved protocols for the care and use of animals.

All reagents were purchased from Sigma-Aldrich (St. c DNAs to selected transcripts were obtained from Invitrogen (Carlsbad, CA), American Type Culture Collection (ATCC, Rockville, MD), or cloned using TOPO TA cloning kit (Invitrogen).

Other c DNAs were gifts from the following investigators: Holtzman Sprague-Dawley rats were obtained from Harlan Laboratories (Indianapolis, IN).

Trophoblast cells of the rat and mouse have the capacity to differentiate along a multi-lineage pathway.

Cell lineages directed toward the maternal environment, include trophoblast giant cells, spongiotrophoblast, glycogen cells, and invasive trophoblast cells; whereas syncytial trophoblast regulate maternal-fetal nutrient and waste delivery [].

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