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Platelet-derived factors dysregulate placental sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 2 in human trophoblasts

et al. Freya Lyssy

Reproductive BioMedicine



Research question

Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is an essential and bioactive sphingolipid with various functions, which acts through five different G-protein-coupled receptors (S1PR1–5). What is the localization of S1PR1–S1PR3 in the human placenta and what is the effect of different flow rates, various oxygen concentrations and platelet-derived factors on the expression profile of S1PR in trophoblasts?


Expression dynamics of placental S1PR1–S1PR3 were determined in human first trimester (n = 10), pre-term (n = 9) and term (n = 10) cases. Furthermore, the study investigated the expression of these receptors in different primary cell types isolated from human placenta, verified the findings with publicly available single-cell RNA-Seq data from first trimester and immunostaining of human first trimester and term placentas. The study also tested whether the placental S1PR subtypes are dysregulated in differentiated BeWo cells under different flow rates, different oxygen concentrations or in the presence of platelet-derived factors.


Quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that S1PR2 is the predominant placental S1PR in the first trimester and reduces towards term (P < 0.0001). S1PR1 and S1PR3 increased from first trimester towards term (P < 0.0001). S1PR1 was localized in endothelial cells, whereas S1PR2 and S1PR3 were predominantly found in villous trophoblasts. Furthermore, S1PR2 was found to be significantly down-regulated in BeWo cells when co-incubated with platelet-derived factors (P = 0.0055).


This study suggests that the placental S1PR repertoire is differentially expressed across gestation. S1PR2 expression in villous trophoblasts is negatively influenced by platelet-derived factors, which could contribute to down-regulation of placental S1PR2 over time of gestation as platelet presence and activation in the intervillous space increases from the middle of the first trimester onwards.


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