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Abstract

The morphology of placentas from trisomy 16 and trisomy 19 mouse conceptuses aged 12 to 18 gestational days was studied at the light microscopic level. Comparisons were made with placentas from normal littermate animals. Trisomy 16 placentas showed marked changes from normal: 1) the junctional zone showed little indication of normal morphologic differentiation throughout gestation; 2) clusters of germinal trophoblast cells persisted in the labyrinth throughout gestation, whereas these cells disappeared by gestational day 16 in the normal littermate placentas; 3) the labyrinth was reduced in size in the trisomic placentas, and the differentiation of the interhemal membranes was delayed. The size of the labyrinths from trisomy 19 placentas appeared to be decreased, but otherwise the placentas appeared to have normal morphology. These observations and others from the literature show that placental development is affected by the presence of a trisomic genome, and that different trisomies influence the development of the placenta differently. Fortrisomy 16, we propose that the striking changes of the junctional zone may be associated with the trisomy 16-related gene dosage effect for alpha- and beta-interferon cell surface receptors. Because of the homology for this and other genes on mouse chromosome 16 with genes on human chromosome 21, findings related to the altered development of the trisomy 16 mouse may be relevant to understanding some of the phenotypic variations associated with human trisomy 21, the Down syndrome.