Effect of maternal serum on viability and function of early human placental explants

  • Jahanara Begum-Hasan
  • Mary Senterman
  • Peter Gillett
  • Charlotte Laplante Branchaud
  • Beverley E. Pearson Murphy
Growth, Differentiation And Senescence


Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is frequently used to supplement chemically defined media such as Ham’s F10 when studying placental explant cultures. However in vitro production of hormones is usually declining by the 2nd or 3rd day and is short-lived (7 to 10 days). In this study we explored the use of human maternal serum (HMS) from early gestation as the medium supplement to Ham’s F10. Early placental hormone production was compared using two concentrations of FBS and HMS. On Day 3 of incubation, progesterone production in 10% HMS was 12-fold increased over that in 10% FBS, estradiol production was increased 10-fold, and βhCG production more than 3-fold. When the serum concentrations were increased to 40%, the results in all cases were similar to those at 10%. Preliminary characterization studies revealed that the stimulatory activity of HMS is heat-labile, neither extractable into organic solvent (diethyl ether) nor dialyzable, suggesting that it is protein in nature. In a long-term incubation, compared with FBS (7 days), HMS permitted survival of culture up to 30 days, judged both histologically and biochemically. We conclude that HMS provides substance(s), probably protein in nature, not present in FBS or non-pregnant human serum, which are important for human placental viability and function in vivo.

Key words

placenta explant culture human maternal serum 


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Copyright information

© Tissue Culture Association 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jahanara Begum-Hasan
    • 1
  • Mary Senterman
    • 1
  • Peter Gillett
    • 1
  • Charlotte Laplante Branchaud
    • 1
  • Beverley E. Pearson Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Reproductive Physiology Unit, Montreal General Hospital, Departments of Medicine, Pathology, and Obstetrics & Gynecology and Centre for the Study of ReproductionMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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