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

Insulin-like 4 (INSL4) gene expression in human embryonic and trophoblastic tissues.

Polypeptide growth factors play an important role in the regulation of human embryonic development. Insulin-like 4 gene (INSL4) is a member of the insulin family, which includes insulin, IGF-I, IGF-II, relaxin, and INSL3. Using RT-PCR, we previously found abundant INSL4 mRNA in the human placenta. In this study, we examined the chronology and spatial expression of this gene in sections of human placenta and conceptus by means of in situ hybridization. Expression of the IGF-II gene was studied as a positive control. INSL4 distribution was tissue- and cell-specific. Indeed, INSL4 mRNA was most abundant in syncytiotrophoblast cells. In fetal tissues, INSL4 mRNA was identified in the perichondrium of all four limbs, vertebrae, and ribs. Moreover, INSL4 mRNA was abundant in interbone ligaments. These findings indicate that the INSL4 gene may play an important role in trophoblast development and regulation of bone formation. IGF-II mRNA, in agreement with the literature, are mainly located in the mesodermal core in the villous trophoblast and in most embryonic tissues.[1]


  1. Insulin-like 4 (INSL4) gene expression in human embryonic and trophoblastic tissues. Laurent, A., Rouillac, C., Delezoide, A.L., Giovangrandi, Y., Vekemans, M., Bellet, D., Abitbol, M., Vidaud, M. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (1998) [Pubmed]
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