Recently it has been demonstrated that human placental tissue is a source of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and that it expresses high TGF-β mRNA activity. For a better understanding of its in vivo function, it was necessary to determine the site of TGF-β synthesis in placenta. We have demonstrated that TGF-β immunoreactivity is present in the cytoplasm of syncytio-trophoblast cells in both early and term placenta. The most intense staining was, however, observed in the first trimester trophoblast syncytial sprouts known to be an early stage in the development of placental villi. These results suggest the involvement of TGF-β in the paracrine regulation of trophoblast-endometrial interaction.

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