A Unique Co-culture Model for Fundamental and Applied Studies of Human Fetoplacental Steroidogenesis and Interference by Environmental Chemicals
This EHP Advance Publication article has been peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication. EHP Advance Publication articles are completely citable using the DOI number assigned to the article. This document will be replaced with the copyedited and formatted version as soon as it is available. Through the DOI number used in the citation, you will be able to access this document at each stage of the publication process.
Citation: Hudon Thibeault AA, Deroy K, Vaillancourt C, Sanderson JT. A Unique Co-culture Model for Fundamental and Applied Studies of Human Fetoplacental Steroidogenesis and Interference by Environmental Chemicals. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307518.
Received: 15 August 2013
Accepted: 29 January 2014
Advance Publication: 31 January 2014
For materials with complex tables, EHP offers “Alt 508″ versions optimized for use with screen-reading software.
Background: Experimental tools to study the complex steroidogenic interactions that occur between placenta and fetus during human pregnancy are extremely limited.
Objectives: To develop a co-culture model to study steroidogenesis by the human fetoplacental unit and its disruption by exposure to environmental contaminants.
Methods: We cultured BeWo human choriocarcinoma cells, representing the villous cytotrophoblast, and H295R human adrenocortical carcinoma cells, representing the fetal unit, in a carefully adapted co-culture medium. We placed H295R cells in 24-well plates and BeWo cells on transwell inserts with or without pesticide treatment (atrazine and prochloraz) and assessed CYP19 activity and hormonal production after 24 h of co-culture.
Results: The co-culture exhibited the steroidogenic profile of the fetoplacental unit, allowing a synergistic production of estradiol and estriol (but not of estrone) of 133.3 ± 11.3 pg/mL and 440.8 ± 44.0 pg/mL, respectively. Atrazine and prochloraz had cell-type selective effects on CYP19 activity and estrogen production in co-culture. Atrazine induced CYP19 activity and estrogen production in H295R cells only, but did not affect overall estrogen production in co-culture, whereas prochloraz inhibited CYP19 activity exclusively in BeWo cells and reduced estrogen production in co-culture by almost 90%. In contrast, prochloraz did not affect estradiol and estrone production in BeWo cells in monoculture. These differential effects underline the relevance of our co-culture approach to model fetoplacental steroidogenesis.
Conclusions: The co-culture of H295R and BeWo cells creates a unique in vitro model to reproduce the steroidogenic cooperation between fetus and placenta during pregnancy, which can be used to study the endocrine disrupting effects of environmental chemicals.
Sign Up to Receive E-mail Alerts
Recent Advance Publications
- Ambient Air Pollution and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults: Results from the MOBILIZE Boston Study
- The Human Early-Life Exposome (HELIX): Project Rationale and Design
- Epigenetic Influences on Associations between Air Pollutants and Lung Function in Elderly Men: The Normative Aging Study
- Associations between Traffic Noise, Particulate Air Pollution, Hypertension, and Isolated Systolic Hypertension in Adults: The KORA Study
- Estimating the Health Effects of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies: Addressing Parametric, Model, and Valuation Challenges
- Environmental Burden of Disease in Europe: Assessing Nine Risk Factors in Six Countries
- Non-Renal Effects and the Risk Assessment of Environmental Cadmium Exposure
- Trending EHP news this week: Chemicals in feminine hygiene products, personal lubricants http://t.co/RKLD6E7IKv
- Trending EHP research this week: Most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals http://t.co/YjnVQqflLu
- AdvPubl: Ambient air pollution and depressive symptoms in older adults: results from the MOBILIZE Boston study http://t.co/QJXO7WXjlM
- AdvPubl: The Human Early-Life Exposome (HELIX): project rationale and design http://t.co/T4UHBDeXvT
- CareerOpp: Tenure track non-clinical prof/assoc prof/asst/prof, environmental health, Sch Public Health, U Hong Kong http://t.co/9ZFkq4k4ST