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Placental capillary pericytes release excess extracellular vesicles under hypoxic conditions inducing a pro-angiogenic profile in term pregnancy


Kandzija, N and Rahbar, M and Davis Jones, G and Motta-Mejia, C and Zhang, W and Couch, Y and Neuhaus, AA and Kishore, U and Sutherland, BA and Redman, C and Vatish, M, Placental capillary pericytes release excess extracellular vesicles under hypoxic conditions inducing a pro-angiogenic profile in term pregnancy, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 651 pp. 20-29. ISSN 0006-291X (2023) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2023.02.015


Pericytes are multifunctional cells wrapped around capillary endothelia, essential for vascular health, development, and blood flow regulation, although their role in human placental chorionic villi has not been fully explored. The second half of normal pregnancy is characterized by a progressive decline in placental and fetal oxygen levels which, by term, comprises a substantial degree of hypoxia. We hypothesized this hypoxia would stimulate pericyte regulation of chorionic villous capillary function. This study's objective was to investigate the role of hypoxia on normal term placental pericytes (PLVP) and their signaling to endothelial cells. First, we confirmed fetoplacental hypoxia at term by a new analysis of umbilical arterial blood oxygen tension of 3,010 healthy singleton neonates sampled at caesarean section and before labor. We then measured the release of cytokines, chemokines, and small extracellular vesicles (PLVPsv), from PLVP cultured at 20%, 8% and 1% O2. As O2 levels decreased, secreted cytokines and chemokines [interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1α (IL-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)], and small extracellular vesicle markers, (Alix, Syntenin and CD9) increased significantly in the culture supernatants. When primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were cultured with PLVPsv, polygon formation, number, and tube formation length was significantly increased compared to cells not treated with PLVPsv, indicating PLVPsv stimulated angiogenesis. We conclude that adding PLVPsv stimulates angiogenesis and vessel stabilization on neighboring endothelial cells in response to hypoxia in term pregnancy compared to no addition of PLVPsv. Our finding that PLVP can release angiogenic molecules via extracellular vesicles in response to hypoxia may apply to other organ systems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Placental pericytes, Hypoxia, Small extracellular vesicles, Angiogenesis
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Reproductive medicine
Research Field:Foetal development and medicine
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences
UTAS Author:Sutherland, BA (Associate Professor Brad Sutherland)
ID Code:155696
Year Published:2023
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1137776)
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2023-03-07
Last Modified:2023-03-07

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