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    To determine placental microRNA (miRNA) expression at different gestational age, total RNA from six first and six third trimester placentas was isolated. miRNA expression was analyzed by Affymetrix miRNA microarray, and miRNA clusters were identified by web-based programs MirClust and miRGen Cluster. qRT-PCR was carried out to validate miRNA expression, and in situ hybridization (ISH) was performed to determine compartmental localization of miRNAs within villous tissue. A total of 208 miRNA transcripts, which represent 191 mature miRNAs, were found differently expressed between first and third trimester placentas. miRNAs within the miR-17-92 cluster, C14MC, miR-371 cluster, and C19MC were significantly upregulated in the first trimester placentas. In contrast, miRNAs of the let-7 family, miR-34 family, miR-29a cluster, miR-195 cluster, and miR-181c cluster were significantly upregulated in the third trimester placentas. Increased miR-371-5p, miR-17-3p, and miR-708-5p expression and decreased miR-125b-5p and miR-139-5p expression in the first trimester placentas were confirmed by qRT-PCR. Different expression pattern for miR-371-5p and miR-125b-5p within villous tissue was demonstrated by ISH. Distinct miRNA cluster expression profiles between the first and third trimester placentas were identified. miRNAs that regulate innate/adaptive immune responses are strongly expressed in both first and third trimester placentas. miRNAs that exert oncogenic, angiogenic, and antiapoptotic properties are dominantly expressed in the first trimester placentas, whereas miRNAs that promote cell differentiation and function as tumor suppressors are strongly expressed in the third trimester placentas. These results indicate that miRNAs play critical roles in placental development.


    Yang Gu, Jingxia Sun, Lynn J Groome, Yuping Wang. Differential miRNA expression profiles between the first and third trimester human placentas. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism. 2013 Apr 15;304(8):E836-43

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    PMID: 23443922

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