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Number and distribution of myofibroblasts and α-smooth muscle actin expression levels in fetal membranes with and without gestational complications

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The permeability and tension of fetal membranes (FMs) is associated with extracellular matrix proteins produced largely by myofibroblasts (MFBBs). αsmooth muscle actin (αSMA) is involved in the contraction of MFBBs and has been implicated as a special biomarker of MFBBs in nonvessel FM. The present study demonstrated, by using immunohistochemistry, reversetranscription polymerase chain reaction and western blotting, that MFBBs were mainly distributed in chorioamniotic mesoderm at 1621 weeks and in chorionic mesoderm at 2240 weeks, respectively, while overlapping with each other at 1640 weeks. In addition, a quantity of MFBBs were identified in chorionic epithelia at 1640 weeks. The MFBBs were distributed parallel to the FMs. The quantities of MFBBs and the expression levels of αSMA were negatively associated with increasing gestational progress and of amniotic fluid indexes in fullterm females (those from oligohydramnios were higher than polyhydramnios); however, the thickness of the FM's mesoderm remained unchanged. Of note, the number of MFBBs in earlyonset severe preeclampsia (EOSP) was significantly decreased in comparison with that in EOSP controls and lateonset severe preeclampsia (LOSP), while that in LOSP was higher than that in LOSP controls. The present data indicated that the changes in the quantity and distribution of MFBBs in the FM affects the permeability and tension of the FM. In addition, the findings suggested that the expression levels of αSMA in the FM also contributed to the properties of the FM. Simultaneously, the number and distribution of MFBBs and the expression levels of αSMA in the FM may be involved in the mechanisms of development, apoptosis and trophoblastMFBB transformation of the FM.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Membrane Channel Research Laboratory, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin 130024, P.R. China 2: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jilin University Bethune Second Hospital, Changchun, Jilin 130041, P.R. China 3: Central Research Laboratory, Jilin University Bethune Second Hospital, Changchun, Jilin 130041, P.R. China

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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