Intravillous eicosanoid compartmentalization and regulation of placental blood flow.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the roles of the eicosanoids thromboxane and prostacyclin, and their compartmentalization, in the regulation of placental blood flow. METHODS: First, the sites of production of thromboxane and prostacyclin were determined within the placental villus using immunohistochemical staining for thromboxane and prostacyclin synthetase. Second, the production of both eicosanoids was studied in cultured trophoblasts and compared with that in the villous core by measuring the metabolites thromboxane B2 and 6-keto-prostaglandin F 1 alpha. Finally, eicosanoid production was assessed in intact villi after stimulation by an acute change in oxygen content, 5% to 95%. RESULTS: Immunohistochemical staining showed that thromboxane production was primarily within the trophoblasts, whereas prostacyclin production was localized to the endothelial cells within the villi. In culture, we found preferential production of prostacyclin by the villous core cells and increased production of thromboxane by trophoblasts. Perifusion of intact villi demonstrated increased production of thromboxane by trophoblasts in response to an increase in oxygen content. Prostacyclin levels were too low to be detected. CONCLUSIONS: Placental blood flow appears to be regulated by compartmentalized eicosanoids, with thromboxane affecting primarily the maternal side of the placental circulation and prostacyclin affecting primarily the fetal side.
Shellhaas, CS; Coffman, T; Dargie, PJ; Killam, AP; Kay, HH
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