Endocrine Disruptors, Polychlorinated Biphenyls-Induced gC1qR-dependent Apoptosis in Human Trophoblast Cell Line HTR-8/SVneo


Although an association exists between exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and spontaneous miscarriage, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. In this study, PCBs content in plasma was detected by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and decidua tissues were examined for the expression of globular heads of C1q receptor (gC1qR) using Western blot in patients who underwent induced abortion and spontaneous abortion. Results showed increased PCBs content and gC1qR expression in patients who experienced spontaneous abortion. In vitro, Western blot analysis demonstrated significantly higher caspase 3 expression and apoptotic cell counts in green fluorescent protein (GFP)-gC1qR vector group. Additionally, gC1qR and caspase 3 showed decreased expression following PCBs plus gC1qR small interfering RNA (siRNA) treatment. The percentage of apoptotic cells increased in cells treated with PCBs alone or PCB plus negative siRNA. These data suggest that maternal exposure to PCBs is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and that upregulation of gC1qR is important for PCBs-mediated trophoblast cell apoptosis.

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Correspondence to Yu-Zhu Peng PhD.

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Gu, P., Gao, L., Li, L. et al. Endocrine Disruptors, Polychlorinated Biphenyls-Induced gC1qR-dependent Apoptosis in Human Trophoblast Cell Line HTR-8/SVneo. Reprod. Sci. 19, 181–189 (2012) doi:10.1177/1933719111415866

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  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • globular heads of C1q receptor (gC1qR)
  • apoptosis