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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression and localization of heme oxygenase in human placental villi.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression and distribution patterns of heme oxygenase (HO)-1 and HO-2 in human placental villi at term and in the first trimester of pregnancy using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. RT-PCR detected mRNA for HO-1 and HO-2 in human placental villi during gestation. Western blotting also revealed the expression of the two distinct HO proteins throughout gestation. HO-1 was constitutively expressed, while HO-2 expression was apparently greater at term than in early pregnancy. Immunohistochemistry showed that distribution of the two HO isoforms had distinct topographic patterns: HO-1 was observed in villous trophoblastic cells, while HO-2 was found in endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells of blood vessels of placental villi. These results may provide a microtopographic basis for elucidating the mechanism of carbon monoxide (CO)-mediated vasodilatation, and it is suggested that the CO/HO system may be involved in the control of placental vascular function and may protect the syncytiotrophoblast and endothelium against oxidative injury.[1]


  1. Expression and localization of heme oxygenase in human placental villi. Yoshiki, N., Kubota, T., Aso, T. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2000) [Pubmed]
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