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Relevance of Syndecan-1 in the Trophoblastic BeWo Cell Syncytialization


Satish Kumar Gupta, Reproductive Cell Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Immunology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi-110 067, India.


Citation Prakash GJ, Suman P, Gupta SK. Relevance of syndecan-1 in the trophoblastic BeWo cell syncytialization. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 66: 385–393

Problem  To investigate the role of syndecan-1 in the differentiation of the BeWo cells into syncytiotrophoblast.

Method of study  BeWo cells were stimulated with forskolin to form syncytia, and the expression of syndecan-1, desmoplakin I+II, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and angiogenesis-associated factors was analyzed. Syndecan-1 was silenced by siRNA to evaluate its involvement in the forskolin-mediated syncytia formation.

Results  Treatment of the BeWo cells with forskolin led to a significant increase in the syncytia formation. It was associated with an increase in the expression of syndecan-1 with a concomitant decrease in the expression of desmoplakin I+II. Forskolin treatment of the BeWo cells also led to an increase in the secretion of soluble endoglin, whereas no change was observed in the soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1. Silencing of the syndecan-1 expression in BeWo cells led to a significant decrease in cell fusion both in the presence and in the absence of forskolin. It was associated with a significant decrease in hCG level in the conditioned medium.

Conclusion  Syndecan-1 is up-regulated in BeWo cells during differentiation and its silencing inhibits syncytialization and thus could be a useful biomarker for syncytiotrophoblast formation.