A Rho-associated coiled-coil containing kinases (ROCK) inhibitor, Y-27632, enhances adhesion, viability and differentiation of human term placenta-derived trophoblasts <i>in vitro</i>
by Kenichiro Motomura, Naoko Okada, Hideaki Morita, Mariko Hara, Masato Tamari, Keisuke Orimo, Go Matsuda, Ken-Ichi Imadome, Akio Matsuda, Takeshi Nagamatsu, Mikiya Fujieda, Haruhiko Sago, Hirohisa Saito, Kenji MatsumotoAlthough human term placenta-derived primary cytotrophoblasts (pCTBs) represent a good human syncytiotrophoblast (STB) model, in vitro culture of pCTBs is not always easily accomplished. Y-27632, a specific inhibitor of Rho-associated coiled-coil containing kinases (ROCK), reportedly prevented apoptosis and improved cell-to-substrate adhesion and culture stability of dissociated cultured human embryonic stem cells and human corneal endothelial cells. The Rho kinase pathway regulates various kinds of cell behavior, some of which are involved in pCTB adhesion and differentiation. In this study, we examined Y-27632’s potential for enhancing pCTB adhesion, viability and differentiation. pCTBs were isolated from term, uncomplicated placentas by trypsin–DNase I–Dispase II treatment and purified by HLA class I-positive cell depletion. Purified pCTBs were cultured on uncoated plates in the presence of epidermal growth factor (10 ng/ml) and various concentrations of Y-27632. pCTB adhesion to the plates was evaluated by phase-contrast imaging, viability was measured by WST-8 assay, and differentiation was evaluated by immunofluorescence staining, expression of fusogenic genes and hCG-β production. Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1; one of the effector proteins of the Rho family) and protein kinase A (PKA) involvement was evaluated by using their specific inhibitors, NSC-23766 and H-89. We found that Y-27632 treatment significantly enhanced pCTB adhesion to plates, viability, cell-to-cell fusion and hCG-β production, but showed no effects on pCTB proliferation or apoptosis. Furthermore, NSC-23766 and H-89 each blocked the effects of Y-27632, suggesting that Y-27632 significantly enhanced pCTB differentiation via Rac1 and PKA activation. Our findings suggest that Rac1 and PKA may be interactively involved in CTB differentiation, and addition of Y-27632 to cultures may be an effective method for creating a stable culture model for studying CTB and STB biology in vitro.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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