Indexed on: 01 Jan '93Published on: 01 Jan '93Published in: The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
The presence of endothelin binding sites in the human placenta raises the question of the precise localization of these receptors on well defined placental constituents. In order to find an answer to this problem various approaches were used. Specific binding sites for [125I] endothelin-1 (ET-1) were identified on human term placenta, not only on membranes of smooth muscles stem villi vessels, but also on trophoblastic plasma membranes prepared from trophoblast in culture. Scatchard analysis of binding data revealed a single class of high affinity binding sites with Kd values of 26 +/- 4 pmol/L for stem villi vessels and 126 +/- 4 pmol/L for trophoblast in culture, with maximum binding capacities of 681 +/- 61 and 224 +/- 53 fmol/mg protein, respectively. The anatomical localization of these binding sites was determined by in vitro autoradiography. Autoradiograms obtained from placental sections incubated with [125I]ET-1 indicate that [125I]ET-1 high affinity binding sites exist on placental stem villi vessels and on the trophoblastic layer of the villi. The latter localization was also found on autoradiograms of trophoblast in culture. The human placental syncytiotrophoblast is a polarized epithelium with the microvillous membrane, facing maternal blood space and the basal plasma membrane, facing fetal circulation. [125I]ET-1 high affinity binding sites are present on both membranes but the number of binding sites is higher on the basal plasma membrane. These findings lead to the suggestion that ET-1 may be involved in the regulation of the feto-placental circulation and may subserve specific trophoblastic functions.