Localization of fos, jun, kit and SCF mRNA in human placenta throughout gestation using in situ RT-PCR.

L. Doneda, G. Bulfamante, M. G. Grimoldi, L. Volpi, L. Larizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The expression pattern of c-fos, c-jun, c-kit and stem cell factor (SCF) has been investigated in developing human placenta using the highly sensitive technique of in situ reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Specific transcripts of all genes under study were observed in first-trimester placenta sections. c-fos, c-jun, c-kit and SCF transcripts were localized in cells of the villous stroma; fos, jun and kit-specific mRNAs were also found in endothelial cells; fos, kit and SCF mRNAs were detected in villous trophoblast cells. In mid-trimester and term placenta specimens only SCF transcripts were observed, restricted to trophoblast cells. The lack of c-fos transcripts in placenta from the second and third trimesters is a finding that contrasts with data from the literature obtained using extractive techniques. Parallel immunocytochemistry of placenta specimens from the three pregnancy stages under study revealed the fos protein only in first-trimester placenta, in agreement with the in situ RT-PCR findings. We conclude that the in situ RT-PCR technique is most suitable for gene expression studies because of its high level of sensitivity in correctly assigning the signal to specific cell types in complex tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalEarly pregnancy : biology and medicine : the official journal of the Society for the Investigation of Early Pregnancy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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