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Gobernador Ingeniero Valentín Virasoro, Argentina

Maymo J.L.,University of Buenos Aires | Perez Perez A.,University of Seville | Gambino Y.,University of Buenos Aires | Calvo J.C.,University of Buenos Aires | And 3 more authors.
Placenta | Year: 2011

Leptin is a 16000 MW protein originally described as an adipocyte-derived signaling molecule for the central control of metabolism. However, pleiotropic effects of leptin have been identified in reproduction and pregnancy. The leptin gene is expressed in placenta, where leptin promotes proliferation and survival of trophoblast cells. Study of the major signaling pathways known to be triggered by leptin receptor has revealed that leptin stimulates JAK/STAT, MAPK and PI3K pathways in placental cells. Leptin also exerts an antiapoptotic action in placenta and this effect is mediated by the MAPK pathway. Moreover, leptin stimulates protein synthesis by activating the translational machinery via both PI3K and MAPK pathways. Expression of leptin in placenta is highly regulated, suggesting that certain key pregnancy molecules participate in such regulation. An important hormone in reproduction, hCG, induces leptin expression in trophoblast cells and this effect involves the MAPK signal transduction pathway. Moreover, the cyclic nucleotide cAMP, which has profound actions upon human trophoblast function, also stimulates leptin expression and this effect seems to be mediated by crosstalk between the PKA and MAPK signaling pathways. Estrogens play a central role in reproduction. 17β-estradiol upregulates leptin expression in placental cells through genomic and non-genomic actions, probably via crosstalk between estrogen receptor-α and the MAPK and PI3K signal transduction pathways. Taken together these findings give a better understanding of the function of leptin and the regulatory mechanisms of leptin expression in human placental trophoblast and further support the importance of leptin in the biology of reproduction.


Perez Perez A.,University of Seville | Calvo J.C.,Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine IBYME | Sanchez-Margalet V.,University of Seville
Placenta | Year: 2012

The steroid hormone 17β-estradiol is an estrogen that influences multiple aspects of placental function and fetal development in humans. During early pregnancy it plays a role in the regulation of blastocyst implantation, trophoblast differentiation and invasiveness, remodeling of uterine arteries, immunology and trophoblast production of hormones such as leptin. Estradiol exerts some effects through the action of classical estrogen receptors ERα and ERβ, which act as ligand-activated transcription factors and regulate gene expression. In addition, estradiol can elicit rapid responses from membrane-associated receptors, like activation of protein-kinase pathways. Thus, the cellular effects of estradiol will depend on the specific receptors expressed and the integration of their signaling events. Leptin, the 16,000 MW protein product of the obese gene, was originally considered an adipocyte-derived signaling molecule for the central control of metabolism. However, pleiotropic effects of leptin have been identified in reproduction and pregnancy. The leptin gene is expressed in placenta, where leptin promotes proliferation and survival of trophoblastic cells. Expression of leptin in placenta is highly regulated by key pregnancy molecules as hCG and estradiol. The aim of this paper is to review the molecular mechanisms underlying estrogen functions in trophoblastic cells; focusing on mechanisms involved in estradiol regulation of placental leptin expression. © 2012 Published by IFPA and Elsevier Ltd.

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