Placental development involves coordinated expansion and differentiation of trophoblast cell lineages possessing specialized functions. Among the differentiated trophoblast cell lineages are invasive trophoblast cells, which exit the placenta and invade the uterus, where they restructure the uterine parenchyma and facilitate remodeling of uterine spiral arteries. The rat exhibits deep intrauterine trophoblast cell invasion, a feature shared with human placentation, and is also amenable to gene manipulation using genome-editing techniques. In this investigation, we generated a conditional rat model targeting the invasive trophoblast cell lineage. Prolactin family 7, subfamily b, member 1 (Prl7b1) is uniquely and abundantly expressed in the rat invasive trophoblast cell lineage. Disruption of Prl7b1 did not adversely affect placental development. We demonstrated that the Prl7b1 locus could be effectively used to drive the expression of Cre recombinase in invasive trophoblast cells. Our rat model represents a new tool for investigating candidate genes contributing to the regulation of invasive trophoblast cells and their roles in trophoblast-guided uterine spiral artery remodeling.
Development (Cambridge, England)
Pregnancy; Rats; Female; Animals; Humans; Placenta; Placentation; Trophoblasts; Uterus; Cell Lineage; Models, Animal
Cre recombinase; Invasive trophoblast cells; PRL7B1; Placenta; Rat; Uterine–placental interface
Iqbal K, Dominguez EM, Nixon B, et al. Conditionally mutant animal model for investigating the invasive trophoblast cell lineage. Development. 2024;151(2):dev202239. doi:10.1242/dev.202239