Talk:Placenta - Histology

From Embryology
About Discussion Pages  
Mark Hill.jpg
On this website the Discussion Tab or "talk pages" for a topic has been used for several purposes:
  1. References - recent and historic that relates to the topic
  2. Additional topic information - currently prepared in draft format
  3. Links - to related webpages
  4. Topic page - an edit history as used on other Wiki sites
  5. Lecture/Practical - student feedback
  6. Student Projects - online project discussions.
Links: Pubmed Most Recent | Reference Tutorial | Journal Searches

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2021, August 1) Embryology Placenta - Histology. Retrieved from

10 Most Recent

Note - This sub-heading shows an automated computer PubMed search using the listed sub-heading term. References appear in this list based upon the date of the actual page viewing. Therefore the list of references do not reflect any editorial selection of material based on content or relevance. In comparison, references listed on the content page and discussion page (under the publication year sub-headings) do include editorial selection based upon relevance and availability. (More? Pubmed Most Recent)

Hofbauer Cell

<pubmed limit=10>Hofbauer+Cell</pubmed>


Placental expression of CD100, CD72 and CD45 is dysregulated in human miscarriage

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e35232. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035232. Epub 2012 May 11.

Lorenzi T, Turi A, Lorenzi M, Paolinelli F, Mancioli F, La Sala L, Morroni M, Ciarmela P, Mantovani A, Tranquilli AL, Castellucci M, Marzioni D. Source Division of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.


CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: The etiology of miscarriage is often multifactorial. One major cause, immunological rejection of the fetus, has not been clearly elucidated. Our aim was to establish whether the semaphorin CD100, its natural receptor CD72, and the glycoprotein CD45, implicated in immune mechanisms, are involved in pregnancy loss by examining their placental expression with real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and western blotting techniques. PATIENTS: Placenta tissue from 72 Caucasian women undergoing surgical uterine evacuation due to early spontaneous pregnancy loss between the 8(th) and 12(th) week of gestation was divided into four groups based on miscarriage number. Gestational age-matched placentas from 18 healthy women without a history of miscarriage undergoing voluntary pregnancy termination were the control group. Placenta from 6 Caesarean deliveries performed at 38-40 weeks of gestation was also studied. RESULTS: CD100, CD72 and CD45 were expressed in placenta and exhibited different mRNA and protein levels in normal pregnancy and miscarriage. In particular, protein levels were highly dysregulated around 10 weeks of gestation in first and second miscarriage placentas. The CD100 soluble form was produced and immediately shed from placental tissue in all samples. CONCLUSIONS: Fetal CD100, CD72 and CD45 seem to play a role in miscarriage. The present data support the involvement of the fetal immune system in pregnancy maintenance as well as failure.

PMID 22606231

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Induces Human Macrophages to Form Intracytoplasmic Vacuoles Mimicking Hofbauer Cells in Human Chorionic Villi

Cells Tissues Organs. 2012 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Yamaguchi M, Ohba T, Tashiro H, Yamada G, Katabuchi H. Source Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.


The most characteristic morphological feature of macrophages in the stroma of placental villi, known as Hofbauer cells, is their highly vacuolated appearance. They also show positive immunostaining for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and express messenger ribonucleic acid of the luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor with a deletion of exon 9 (LH/CG-R Δ9). Maternal hCG enters fetal plasma through the mesenchyme of the placental villi and promotes male sexual differentiation in early pregnancy; therefore, excess hCG may induce aberrant genital differentiation and hCG must be adjusted at the fetomaternal interface. We hypothesized that hCG is regulated by Hofbauer cells and that their peculiar vacuoles are involved in a cell-specific function. To assess the morphological modification and expression of LH/CG-R Δ9 in human macrophages after hCG exposure, the present study examined phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-treated THP-1 cells, a human monocyte-macrophage cell line. hCG induced transient vacuole formation in PMA-treated THP-1 cells, morphologically mimicking Hofbauer cells. Immunocytochemistry showed that PMA-treated THP-1 cells incorporated hCG but not luteinizing hormone or follicle-stimulating hormone. Western blotting analyses demonstrated that PMA-treated THP-1 cells expressed an immunoreactive 60-kDa protein, designated as endogenous LH/CG-R Δ9. hCG induced a transient reduction in the LH/CG-R Δ9, which was synchronous with the appearance of cytoplasmic vacuoles. In conclusion, human macrophages regulating hCG via cytoplasmic LH/CG-R Δ9 mimic the morphological characteristics of Hofbauer cells. Their vacuoles may be associated with their cell-specific function to protect the fetus from exposure to excess maternal hCG during pregnancy. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID 23128164


DC-sign+ CD163+ macrophages expressing hyaluronan receptor LYVE-1 are located within chorion villi of the placenta

Placenta. 2008 Feb;29(2):187-92.

Böckle BC, Sölder E, Kind S, Romani N, Sepp NT.

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria. Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate with immunohistochemical methods antigen presenting cells and their relationship to blood and lymphatic vessels in human term placenta. Fetal placental antigen presenting cells, historically also known as Hofbauer cells, were located in the chorionic villi below the syncytiotrophoblast and in the vicinity of fetal capillaries. DC-SIGN/CD209 expression was observed on CD163+, CD68+, CD45+, HLA-A,B,C+, DC-LAMP/CD208-, CD86-, Langerin/CD207-, FXIIIa-, CD1a- cells consistent with the macrophage nature of these cells. These fetal DC-SIGN+ cells lack HLA-DR, -DP, -DQ expression. Moreover, we show for the first time that they co-express the hyaluronan receptor LYVE-1. In contrast, no LYVE-1+ vessel structures, i.e. lymphatic vessels, were detected. Human term decidua hosted a variety of CD45+ cells, further phenotyped as CD163+, DC-SIGN+, CD68+, HLA-DR+, HLA-A,B,C+. Mature dendritic cells were never observed in human term placenta. In summary, human term placenta is an immunoprivileged organ without lymphatic drainage and with numerous DC-SIGN+ macrophages within the chorionic villi. We hypothesize that these cells may fulfil a function in innate responses against pathogens as well as be involved in the homeostasis of hyaluronan metabolism in the rapidly differentiating placenta.

PMID 18078989

Histopathology and ultrastructure of human umbilical blood vessels

Fetal Pediatr Pathol. 2005 Nov-Dec;24(6):297-315.

Stehbens WE, Wakefield JS, Gilbert-Barness E, Zuccollo JM. Source Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wellington South, New Zealand.


To resolve controversy over umbilical vessels structure, a morphological review was undertaken of the histology of blood vessels in 130 fetal umbilical cords varying in gestational age and the ultrastructure of blood vessels in 6 umbilical cords. Arteries and veins were lined by endothelium. The internal elastic lamina was frequently interrupted when associated with intimal thickening of longitudinally orientated smooth muscle cells. Fragments of elastic laminae developed in the intima and inner media both of which were thicker in arteries than in vein. No external elastic laminae or distinct adventitia were found. Most notable was the accumulation of cell debris developed from blebs derived from polypoid cytoplasmic protrusions of smooth muscle cells of both arteries and veins. They underwent hydropic change and became detached and fragmented particularly after 20 weeks' gestation. Similar hydropic degeneration occurred in endothelial cells of arteries and veins, such changes being consistent with the destructive pattern of hemodynamic stresses.

PMID 16761560


Morphological features of the human umbilical vein in normal, sickle cell trait, and sickle cell disease pregnancies

Hum Pathol. 1999 Jan;30(1):13-20.

Decastel M, Leborgne-Samuel Y, Alexandre L, Merault G, Berchel C. Source CNRS SD 401, INSERM 359, Centre Hospitalier Régional et Universitaire, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.


Pathological changes often occur in the placenta of women with sickle cell disease (SCD). These alterations are caused by sickling of erythrocytes and vasoocclusion in the placental circulation, leading to regional hypoxia. However, the morphological status of the umbilical cord, which is in close physical association with the placenta, is not documented under such conditions. To explore this, the umbilical vein structure in healthy, sickle cell trait (the heterozygous state), and SCD pregnancies was studied using scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Interestingly, the sickle cell trait umbilical vein architecture was morphologically similar to that in control veins, whereas numerous alterations were seen in the SCD umbilical vein wall. In SEM, the SCD umbilical vein endothelial cells showed atypical morphologies. TEM analysis of the tunica media showed (1) smooth muscle cell proliferation and increase in the thickness of the basement membrane underlying the cells; (2) areas of necrosis; (3) reduplication of the inner elastic lamina. Such features were often seen in sickle patients vasculature at autopsy. Our findings could have importance because tissue hypoxemia is an integral part of vasoocclusion. We conclude that the SCD umbilical vein may be an additional tool for studying vasoocclusion in sickle cell disease.

PMID 9923921


Structure and function of the fetal umbilical vessels

J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 1985;14(8):973-9.

[Article in French] Hoang-Ngoc Minh, Gebrane-Younes J, Smadja A, Orcel L. Abstract A morphological study carried out using electron microscopy has shown that there is an endothelium in the umbilical blood vessels consisting of intercellular spaces which interdigitate with one another and that are not specialization in junction complex. The endothelial cells are rich in their typical organ structure and have pinocytotic vesicles. There media contains a muscular coat which is thicker in the artery than in the veins. The smooth muscle cells also show pinocytotic vesicles. This morphological state leads the authors to two groups of thought: There is active diffusion by a process of "plasma perfusion" from the lumen of the vessels through the vascular wall which forms a physiological system for taking up fluids which in turn is capable of providing for the energy and plastic requirements of the umbilical vessels: The umbilical arteries, because of their thick muscular tunic and because of the ability of the lumen to dilate as there is an absence of an internal elastic membrane, can function not only as tubes for conducting blood but also as organs that regulate the blood flow. On the other hand the umbilical vein, which cannot stretch and cannot retract because its wall is so thin, behaves as an organ to return the blood flow, particularly because it does have an inner limiting layer preventing over-stretching.

PMID 3833907


The umbilical and paraumbilical veins of man

J Anat. 1980 Mar;130(Pt 2):305-22.

Martin BF, Tudor RG.


During its transit through the umbilicus structural changes occur in the thick wall of the extra-abdominal segment of the umbilical vein whereby the components of the intra-abdominal segment acquire an essentially longitudinal direction and become arranged in fibro-elastic and fibro-muscular zones. The vein lumen becomes largely obliterated by asymmetrical proliferation of loose subendothelial conective tissue. The latter forms a new inner zone within which a small segment of the lumen persists in an eccentric position. This residual lumen transmits blood to the portal system from paraumbilical and systemic sources, and is retained in the upper part of the vein, even in old age. A similar process of lumen closure is observed in the ductus venosus. In early childhood the lower third of the vein undergoes breakdown, with fatty infiltration, resulting in its complete division into vascular fibro-elastic strands, and in old age some breakdown occurs in the outermost part of the wall of the upper two thirds. The paraumbilical veins are thick-walled and of similar structure to the umbilical vein. Together they constitute an accessory portal system which is confined between the layers of the falciform ligament and is in communication with the veins of the ventral abdominal wall. The constituents form an ascending series, namely, Burow's veins, the umbilical vein, and Sappey's inferior and superior veins. The main channel of Sappey's inferior veins may be the remnant of the right umbilical vein since it communicates with the right rectus sheath and often communicates directly with the portal system within the right lobe of the liver. The results are of significance in relation to clinical usage of the umbilical vein.

PMID 7400038


J Anat. 1972 Jan;111(Pt 1):29-42. The ultrastructure of human umbilical vessel endothelium from early pregnancy to full term. Parry EW, Abramovich DR.

PMID 5016949


Observations on the placental giant cells of the rat

DICKSON AD, BULMER D. J Anat. 1960 Jul;94:418-24. No abstract available. PMID 13816611