Placental tumor necrosis factor-α protein expression during normal human gestation

Jayasri Basu, Enyonam Agamasu, Bolek Bendek, Carolyn M. Salafia, Aruna Mishra, Nerys C. Benfield, Priya Prasad, Magdy Mikhail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Placental tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a cell signaling protein. During pregnancy, TNF-α induces synthesis of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which allows cytotrophoblasts to reach the spiral arteries deeper within the uterine decidua. TNF-α also augments apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells surrounding these arteries. In this study, chorionic villi TNF-α protein expression throughout normal human gestation were investigated. Methods: Placental chorionic villi tissues obtained from elective surgical terminations of pregnancy and from uncomplicated term births were assayed using EIA kits (Cayman Chemicals, Ann Arbor, MI, Item # 589201). Results: The median, 25th percentile and 75th percentile values in the first (N = 99), second (N = 58) and third trimester (N = 42) were: 36.46, 27.25, 45.90 pg/100 mg tissue; 55.43, 40.09, 110.88 pg/100 mg tissue; and 16.63, 9.32, 31.92 pg/100 mg tissue, respectively. Conclusions: Variations in placental TNF-α protein expression noted at different trimesters may suggest gestational age specific roles for the cytokine. The increase in TNF-α protein expression observed in the second trimester may be involved in upregulating synthesis of MMP and in augmenting apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells of the spiral arteries. A failure in this second trimester increase in TNF-α protein could contribute to gestational compromise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 14 2016


  • Chorionic villi
  • enzyme immunoassay
  • second trimester pregnancy
  • syncytiotrophoblast stress
  • uncomplicated pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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