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Open Access Research

Activin-A up-regulates type I activin receptor mRNA levels in human immortalized extravillous trophoblast cells.

Victor TS Chen1, Chun Peng2 and Peter CK Leung1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2 Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2003, 1:29  doi:10.1186/1477-7827-1-29

Published: 24 March 2003

Abstract

Activin is known to play an important regulatory role in reproduction, including pregnancy. To further examine the role and signaling mechanism of activin in regulating placental function, the steady-state level of activin type I receptor (ActRI) mRNA in immortalized extravillous trophoblasts (IEVT) cells was measured using competitive PCR (cPCR). An internal standard of ActRI cDNA for cPCR was constructed for the quantification of ActRI mRNA levels in IEVT cells. ActRI mRNA levels were increased in a dose-dependent manner by activin-A with the maximal effect observed at the dose of 10 ng/ml. Time course studies revealed that activin-A had maximal effects on ActRI mRNA levels at 6 hours after treatment. The effects of activin-A on ActRI mRNA levels was blocked by follistatin, an activin binding protein, in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, inhibin-A inhibited basal, as well as activin-A-induced ActRI mRNA levels. These findings provide evidence, for the first time, that activin-A modulates ActRI mRNA levels in human trophoblast cells.

Keywords:
Activin; Follistatin; Activin Receptor; Immortalized Extravillous Trophoblast Cells; Competitive PCR