The role of E-cadherin in the motility and invasion of implantation site intermediate trophoblast

Ie Ming Shih, Mei Yu Hsu, Robert J. Oldt, Meenhard Herlyn, John D. Gearhart, Robert J. Kurman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


During early pregnancy, intermediate (extravillous) trophoblast infiltrates the basal plate and invades the spiral arteries, a physiological process required to establish the maternal - fetal circulation. Immunostaining studies have shown that differentiation of trophoblast into this invasive subpopulation is associated with down-regulation of E-cadherin expression. To study the function of E-cadherin in trophoblast in vitro, we restored E-cadherin expression in an E-cadherin negative human implantation site intermediate trophoblastic cell line, IST-1, using a recombinant adenovirus, E-cad/Ad5 which constitutively expresses E-cadherin. In contrast to the control IST-1 cells which were individual and pleomorphic in shape, E-cad/Ad5 transduced cells were cohesive, uniform, and round. The motility and invasiveness of E-cad/Ad5 transduced IST-1 cells, as compared with the control cells, was significantly reduced. These effects were contact-dependent and were attenuated by a function-perturbing anti-E-cadherin antibody. In conclusion, our results indicate that expression of E-cadherin in IST-1 cells results in a contact-mediated inhibition of motility and invasion and suggest an important role for E-cadherin down-regulation in the intermediate trophoblast during implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-715
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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