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Roles of microRNA-34a in the pathogenesis of placenta accreta


Dr Shin-ichi Ishioka, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sapporo Medical University, Minami 1-jo, Nishi 16-chome, Chuou-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8543, Japan. Email:


Aim:  MicroRNA-34a (miR-34a) is associated with invasion and metastasis of various cancers. The trophoblastic cells of placenta accreta invade into the myometrium in a similar way to the invasion of cancers. We studied the roles of miR-34a in the pathogenesis of placenta accreta.

Methods:  The human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR was used for in vitro experiments as a model of trophoblasts, and placental tissues from the operative specimen of patients with or without placenta accreta were used for experiments in vivo. Morpholino antisense oligomer against miR-34a (miR-34a Morpho/AS) was added to JAR, and the expression of miR-34a and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) was determined by real time PCR. The effects of antisense, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 in the process of invasion were studied with an invasion assay. Expression of miR-34a in vivo was studied with the use of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).

Results:  Expression of miR-34a was inhibited by 65% with the administration of antisense, and a slight increase in miR-34a expression was observed with the addition of IL-6 and IL-8. PAI-1 expression decreased with the addition of IL-6 and IL-8, and increased with the administration of antisense. There was an increase in invasive capacity through the inhibition of miR-34a expression. Strong FISH expression of miR-34a was observed in trophoblast cells of non-placenta accreta, and a clear decrease in miR-34a expression was observed in those of placenta accreta.

Conclusions:  Expression of miR-34a was downregulated in placenta accreta. In vitro experiments also showed that the invasive potential of JAR increased by suppressing miR-34a, probably through the expression of PAI-1.