Villous IT

Villous intermediate trophoblastic cells consist of the trophoblastic columns that anchor the chorionic villi to the basal plate of the implantation site. They proliferate in the proximal portion of the trophoblastic columns and are the source of implantation site and chorionic-type intermediate trophoblastic cells. In addition, they maintain the structural integrity of the trophoblastic columns. The distinctive molecular feature that characterizes the villous intermediate trophoblastic cells is the expression of HNK-1 carbohydrate, which is not present in any of the other trophoblastic subpopulations (12). The HNK-1 moiety is present on the cell surface and might contribute to intercellular cohesion in the trophoblastic columns, which counteracts the mechanical sheering forces resulting from fetal movement and the turbulence created by the pulsatile blood flow in the placental bed (12). Moreover, several genes including CD146 (Mel-CAM), hPL, human leukocyte antigen (HLA-G), and cyclin E are expressed in villous intermediate trophoblastic cells. Further increasing from the proximal to the distal end of the trophoblastic column, and reflecting the differentiation of implantation site IT (Table 1).

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