Remodelling of the uterine vasculature during the first trimester of human pregnancy requires invasion of trophoblast from the placenta into decidual spiral arterioles. The pregnancy-associated hormones human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), progesterone (P 4) and oestradiol (E 2) are present at high concentrations at the maternal-fetal interface during the remodelling period and thus may contribute to the regulation of trophoblast movement. This study examined the effects of these hormones on trophoblast functions. HTR8/SVneo cells were treated with hCG (5-100mIU/mL), P 4 (20nM-20μM) or E 2 (0.07-734nM). hCG significantly stimulated migration and MMP-9 activity but did not affect cell numbers. P 4 significantly inhibited migration, MMP-2 and -9 activity and reduced cell numbers. E 2 had no effect on migration, MMP activity or cell numbers. We conclude that hCG and P 4, but not E 2, play direct roles in controlling trophoblast invasion, acting as positive and negative stimuli respectively to regulate trophoblast movement during vascular remodelling in early pregnancy.
- Human chorionic gonadotrophin