The product of the imprinted gene IPL marks human villous cytotrophoblast and is lost in complete hydatidiform mole

A. Saxena, D. Frank, P. Panichkul, I. B. Van den Veyver, B. Tycko, H. Thaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The IPL/TSSC3 gene is expressed nearly exclusively from the maternal allele, and its protein product acts to limit placental growth in mice. This protein specifically marks Type II trophoblast in the labyrinthine layer of the mouse placenta. To investigate mouse-human homologies, we carried out immunohistochemistry with antibodies against human IPL. There was strong expression of IPL in villous cytotrophoblast of the human placenta, contrasting with complete lack of expression in syncytiotrophoblast. Staining for IPL was weak in cells of the villous mesenchyme and extravillous trophoblast, including the cytotrophoblast columns in the basal plate and the intervillous trophoblast islands. The IPL and p57kIP2/CDKN1C genes are closely linked and coordinately imprinted, and immunostaining showed that their protein products are co-expressed in villous cytotrophoblast. However, other cell types, including extravillous cytotrophoblast and cells in various non-placental tissues, expressed p57KIP2, but not IPL. IPL protein was absent in both of two cases of androgenetic complete hydatidiform mole examined by immunostaining, and IPL mRNA was absent in an additional three cases of this neoplasm examined by northern blotting. In the mouse, Ipl-expressing cells disappear at mid- to late-gestation when placental growth ceases, but persistent IPL mRNA and protein expression was observed throughout human gestation, correlating with the continuous growth of the human placenta. These findings highlight dosage regulation of human IPL by imprinting and, more generally, suggest homology between Type II labyrinthine trophoblast in the mouse and villous cytotrophoblast in humans, both of which are proliferative stem cell-like compartments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-842
Number of pages8
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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