Trophoblast transferrin and transferrin receptors in the host--parasite relationship of human pregnancy

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character
W P Faulk, G M Galbraith

Abstract

Transferrin and specific transferrin receptors are demonstrated on the microvillous surface of syncytiotrophoblast in human immature and term placentae by immuno histological techniques with the use of light and electron microscopy. That the distribution of transferrin is limited to the materno-foetal interface supports the hypothesis that binding of maternal transferrin to trophoblast receptors is involved in the process of iron transport to the foetus. Parallel studies with baboon placentae demonstrate the presence of trophoblast receptors which bind both baboon and human transferrin, thereby putting forward an experimental model which might be used to test the biological significance of placental transferrin receptors in primates. In addition, investigation of a large number of human cell lines shows that many transformed cells, but no normal cells (such as blood lymphocytes) or cells from primary culture (such as neonatal foreskin fibroblasts), possess the ability to bind transferrin to their membranes. These findings suggest that transferrin receptors may play important biological roles in addition to that of iron transport from mother to foetus. One such role could be the limitation of iron in intervillous spaces, thus de...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Fetal Structures
Immunofluorescence Assay
Iron
Maternal-Fetal Exchange
Parasites
Placenta
Hormone Receptors, Cell Surface
Transferrin B

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