Background: Placenta accreta is one of the most serious complications in obstetrics and gynecology. Villous trophoblasts (VT) and extravillous trophoblasts (EVT) play a central role in normal placentation. Placenta accreta is characterized by abnormal invasion of EVT cells through the uterine layers, due to changes in several parameters, including adhesion proteins. Although αvβ3 integrin is a central adhesion molecule, participating in multiple invasive pathological conditions including cancer, data on placenta accreta are lacking. Objective: To study the expression pattern of αvβ3 integrin in placenta accreta in comparison with normal placentas. Study design: We collected tissue samples from placentas defined as percreta, the most severe presentation of placenta accreta and from normal control placentas (n = 10 each). The samples underwent protein extractions for analyses of αvβ3 expression by Western blots (WB) and a parallel tissue assessment by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Results: WB results indicated significantly elevated αvβ3 integrin expression in the percreta samples compared to normal placentas. These elevated levels were mainly contributed by EVT cells, as demonstrated by IHC. αvβ3 integrin demonstrated a classical membranal expression in the VT cells, whereas a uniformly distributed expression was documented in the EVT cells. These patterns of the αvβ3 integrin localization were similar in both accreta and normal placental samples. Conclusions: Enhanced αvβ3 integrin expression, mainly in extra villous trophoblasts of placenta percreta, implies for a role of this adhesion molecule in pathological placentation.
- Extravillous trophoblasts
- Placenta accreta and villous trophoblasts
- αvβ3 integrin