Parathyroid hormone increases epidermal growth factor receptors in cultured human trophoblastic cells from early and term placenta.

Research paper by E E Alsat, V V Mirlesse, C C Fondacci, M M Dodeur, D D Evain-Brion

Indexed on: 01 Aug '91Published on: 01 Aug '91Published in: The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism


The effect of PTH on the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor was analyzed during the in vitro differentiation of human cytotrophoblasts. The cytotrophoblasts were isolated by a trypsin-DNase method from first trimester and term placentas and purified on a Percoll gradient. In culture, these cells aggregated and fused together to form a syncytium. This in vitro differentiation was associated with a 2-fold increase in 125I-EGF binding after 48 h of culture. The addition of 0.1 microM PTH (PTH-treated cells) to the culture medium induced a significant 2- to 3-fold increase (P less than 0.005) in EGF binding. The effect was dose related with a maximum obtained at a 1 nM concentration. Scatchard analyses revealed that PTH-treated cells possess a 2-fold higher number of high affinity sites as compared to control cells from early placenta (0.71 +/- 0.06 pmol/mg protein and 0.34 +/- 0.04 pmol/mg protein, respectively) and from term placenta (1.24 +/- 0.10 pmol/mg protein and 0.61 +/- 0.07 pmol/mg protein, respectively). The apparent Kd values for high affinity sites (0.15 nM) and for low affinity sites (4 nM) were not altered either by the gestational age of the cells or by PTH treatment. With respect to the EGF-dependent phosphorylation in membranes of trophoblast cells in culture, it was found that the phosphorylation of two major proteins of 175 kilodaltons and 35 kilodaltons, is greatly increased in PTH-treated cell membranes in the presence of EGF. This PTH-induced effect on EGF receptors was associated with an augmented functional response of trophoblastic cells to EGF. PTH increased the EGF-stimulated secretion of hCG. These results demonstrate that PTH increases the number of biologically active EGF receptors during the in vitro differentiation of human trophoblast cells. This PTH-induced effect suggests a role for this hormone in the regulation of the growth and the endocrine functions of these cells.