Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

BioMed Central

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

School

School of Exercise, Biomedical & Health Science/Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care

RAS ID

10612

Comments

This article was originally published as: Gallego, M., Porayette, P., Kaltcheva, M., Bowan, R., Vadakkadath Meethal, S., & Atwood, C. (2010). The pregnancy hormones human chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone induce human embryonic stem cell proliferation and differentiation into neuroectodermal rosettes. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 1(4), p 28. Original article available here

Abstract

Introduction: The physiological signals that direct the division and differentiation of the zygote to form a blastocyst, and subsequent embryonic stem cell division and differentiation during early embryogenesis, are unknown. Although a number of growth factors, including the pregnancy-associated hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) are secreted by trophoblasts that lie adjacent to the embryoblast in the blastocyst, it is not known whether these growth factors directly signal human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Methods: Here we used hESCs as a model of inner cell mass differentiation to examine the hormonal requirements for the formation of embryoid bodies (EB’s; akin to blastulation) and neuroectodermal rosettes (akin to neurulation). Results: We found that hCG promotes the division of hESCs and their differentiation into EB’s and neuroectodermal rosettes. Inhibition of luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) signaling suppresses hESC proliferation, an effect that is reversed by treatment with hCG. hCG treatment rapidly upregulates steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR)-mediated cholesterol transport and the synthesis of progesterone (P4). hESCs express P4 receptor A, and treatment of hESC colonies with P4 induces neurulation, as demonstrated by the expression of nestin and the formation of columnar neuroectodermal cells that organize into neural tubelike rosettes. Suppression of P4 signaling by withdrawing P4 or treating with the P4-receptor antagonist RU-486 inhibits the differentiation of hESC colonies into EB’s and rosettes. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that hCG signaling via LHCGR on hESC promotes proliferation and differentiation during blastulation and neurulation. These findings suggest that trophoblastic hCG secretion and signaling to the adjacent embryoblast could be the commencement of trophic support by placental tissues in the growth and development of the human embryo.

DOI

10.1186/scrt28

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

 
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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.1186/scrt28