During early human pregnancy, extravillous trophoblast (EVT) cells from the placenta invade the uterine decidual spiral arterioles and mediate the remodelling of these vessels such that a low pressure, high blood flow can be supplied to the placenta. This is essential to facilitate normal growth and development of the foetus. Defects in remodelling can manifest as the serious pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia. During the period of vessel remodelling three key pregnancy-associated hormones, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), progesterone (P 4) and oestradiol (E 2), are found in high concentrations at the maternal-foetal interface. Potentially these hormones may control EVT movement and thus act as regulators of vessel remodelling. This review will discuss what is known about how these hormones affect EVT proliferation, migration and invasion during vascular remodelling and the potential relationship between hCG, P 4, E 2 and the development of pre-eclampsia.
- Extravillous trophoblast
- Human chorionic gonadotrophin