C-myc and tumour suppressor gene product expression in developing and term human trophoblast

M. Roncalli, G. Bulfamante, G. Viale, D. R. Springall, R. Alfano, A. Comi, M. Maggioni, J. M. Polak, G. Coggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proliferation and differentiation of villous trophoblast during placental development, from an early stage to full-term, were investigated in routinely fixed and processed tissues, by means of the immunocytochemical localization of the cell cycle-related proto-oncogene c-myc and the p53 and retinoblastoma susceptibility (Rb) tumour-suppressor gene products. The proliferative activity of the trophoblast was determined using an antibody against proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) which stains all proliferating cells in paraffin-embedded tissues. Diffuse nuclear immunoreactivity for PCNA, c-myc and Rb gene products was a consistent finding in early cytotrophoblast; c-myc product expression was also detectable in both layers of mid-gestation trophoblast. Only scattered cytotrophoblastic nuclei of early gestational placenta displayed immunostaining for p53 gene product. In full-term placenta c-myc expression was undetectable while Rb gene product and PCNA immunoreactivity declined markedly. These results indicate that the expression of the above genes is spatio-temporally regulated during placental development. A potential involvement of the oncosuppressor gene products p53 and Rb in the control of trophoblastic proliferation and of c-myc in the control of both the proliferative and differentiation pathways of trophoblastic cells is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-409
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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