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Keywords:

  • differentiation;
  • FGF4;
  • Notch1;
  • placenta;
  • trophoblast stem cell

Abstract

The Notch signalling pathway regulates proliferation, cell death and cell type specification that is critical for organogenesis. Mouse models carrying mutations in the Notch signalling pathway display defects in development of the placenta, suggesting that this pathway is required for placental development. In particular, Notch1 mutant embryos exhibit abnormal placental morphogenesis and arrest early in development. However, expression of Notch1 gene has not been detected during placental development. Trophoblast stem cells are derived from the precursor of the placenta and express Notch1. We report that Notch1 is also expressed in differentiated trophoblast cells. Under standard differentiation conditions, Notch1 expression ceases by day 6. Furthermore, the activated NOTCH1 intracellular domain is enriched at the nucleolus of trophoblast stem cells and differentiated trophoblast cells. Our results suggest that NOTCH1 is active in both trophoblast stem cells and differentiated trophoblast cells.