ABB  Vol.3 No.6 A , October 2012
Increased resistance to apoptosis during differentiation and syncytialization of BeWo choriocarcinoma cells
Transition from mononuclear villous cytotrophoblast into multinuclear syncytiotrophoblast in the human placenta is accompanied by changes in apoptosis-related proteins and an apparent increased resistance to induced apoptosis. We investigated the specific nature and timing of changes in Bcl-2, Bax, p53, and caspases 3 and 8 in forskolin-treated BeWo choriocarcinoma cells, a model for villous cytotrophoblast differentiation. BeWo cells were treated with forskolin or vehicle alone for up to 72 h and evaluated at 24 h intervals for syncytialization and quantitative expression specific apoptosis-related proteins and mRNAs. Syncytialization was quantified using fluorescent staining of intercellular membranes and enumeration of the percentage of nuclei in multinucleate cells, and differential localization of apoptosis-related proteins to multinuclear or mononuclear cells was determined by quantitative immunofluorescence. Forskolin treatment for up to 72 h resulted in 80% syncytialization, increased expression of Bcl-2 protein (P < 0.01) and mRNA (P < 0.05), and significantly decreased expression of protein and mRNA for Bax, p53, and caspases 3 and 8. Syncytialized cells expressed higher levels of Bcl-2 protein concurrent with increased resistance to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Thus, syncytialization of BeWo cells was accompanied by altered transcription of apoptotic-related proteins characteristic of increased apoptosis resistance secondary to increased expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and diminish expression of pro-apoptotic proteins.

Cite this paper
Wei, B. , Xu, C. and Rote, N. (2012) Increased resistance to apoptosis during differentiation and syncytialization of BeWo choriocarcinoma cells. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 3, 805-813. doi: 10.4236/abb.2012.326100.
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