• Cytokine;
  • trophoblast;
  • vascular endothelial growth factor

PROBLEM: The mechanism through which vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) regulation occurs at the feto-maternal interface is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of various cytokines on VEGF expression and secretion by trophoblast cells.

METHOD OF STUDY: We investigated the effects of cytokines on VEGF expression in human first trimester trophoblast cell line by analyzing VEGF messenger RNA (mRNA) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and VEGF protein secretion by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS: The trophoblast cells expressed VEGF mRNA constitutively and the main subtypes were identified as VEGF121 and VEGF165. When cultured in the presence of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-2, or IL-10, VEGF mRNA expression was found to be significantly increased by IL-1β, IFN-γ and TNF-α but to be unaffected by IL-2 and IL-10. Moreover, VEGF secretion was most significantly increased by IFN-γ treatment.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that IL-1β, IFN-γ, and TNF-α may regulate the production of VEGF in early gestational trophoblasts.