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Open Access Comparative Immunohistochemistry of Placental Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone and the Transcription Factor RelB–NFκB2 Between Humans and Nonhuman Primates

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The transcription factor RelB–NFκB2, activated by the noncanonical NFκB pathway, positively regulates corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and prostaglandin production in the term human placenta and may play an important role in the timing of human parturition. Here we explored whether RelB–NFκB2 signaling plays a role in parturition in nonhuman anthropoid primates. We performed immunohistochemical staining to assess the correlation between CRH and nuclear activity of RelB–NFκB2 heterodimers in term placentas from humans, 3 catarrhine primate species, and a single platyrrhine primate species. Consistent with our previous studies, the human placenta showed cytoplasmic staining for CRH and nuclear staining for RelB–NFκB2. Similar staining patterns were noted in the 3 catarrhine primates (chimpanzee, baboon, and rhesus macaque). The platyrrhine (marmoset) placentas stained positively for CRH and RelB but not for NFκB2. Catarrhine (but not platyrrhine) nonhuman primate term placentas demonstrate the same CRH staining and nuclear localization patterns of RelB and NFκB2 as does human placenta. These results suggest that catarrhine primates, particularly rhesus macaques, may serve as useful animal models to study the biologic significance of the noncanonical NFκB pathway in human pregnancy.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. [email protected] 2: Research Department, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA 3: Nutrition Laboratory, Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, District of Columbia, USA 4: Tufts University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 5: Department of Pathology, Saint Peter's University Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA 6: Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. [email protected]

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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