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It has been shown previously that syncytiotrophoblast microvillous membranes (STBM), isolated from normal or pre-eclampsia placentae, specifically inhibit the proliferation of cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and disrupt the cell monolayer without causing cell death. We have previously shown that this anti-proliferative activity resides in a self-aggregating complex in which eight proteins, namely integrins alpha(5)(CD49e) and alpha(V)(CD51), dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV, CD26), alpha-actinin, transferrin receptor (TfR, CD71), transferrin, placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) and monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) were identified. In the present study, we investigated which of these components causes the anti-proliferative activity of STBM. Antibodies against integrin alpha(5)and alpha(V)and DPP IV all reduced the STBM-induced inhibition of proliferation of HUVEC, which was also reversed by added fibronectin. A preparation of PLAP inhibited endothelial proliferation, but this was not due to enzymatic activity. The preparation was shown to be impure with more than 12 bands present on Coomassie blue stained SDS-PAGE gels. These included integrins alpha(5)and alpha(V), which could account, at least in part, for the inhibitory activity. We could not exclude, however, the possibility of other unidentified factors being involved. We conclude that adhesion molecules account for a major part of the anti-proliferative activity of STBM; these appear to compete for ligands in the extracellular matrix or serum with the appropriate receptors on HUVEC.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





150 - 159


Actinin, Alkaline Phosphatase, Antigens, CD, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cell Division, Cells, Cultured, Culture Media, Serum-Free, Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Humans, Integrin alpha5, Integrin alphaV, Microvilli, Monoamine Oxidase, Neutralization Tests, Pre-Eclampsia, Pregnancy, Receptors, Transferrin, Transferrin, Trophoblasts