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Protocol on "Establishment and differentiation of long-term trophoblast organoid cultures from the human placenta" Just published in Nature Protocols

last modified Sep 11, 2020 01:16 PM

Establishment and differentiation of long-termtrophoblast organoid cultures from the human placenta.


Megan A. Sheridan1,2, Ridma C. Fernando1,2, Lucy Gardner1,2, Michael S. Hollinshead1,Graham J. Burton2,3, Ashley Moffett1,2and Margherita Y. Turco1,2


The human placenta is essential for successful reproduction. There is great variation in the anatomy and development of the placenta in different species, meaning that animal models provide limited information about human placental development and function. Until recently, it has been impossible to isolate trophoblast cells from the human placenta that proliferate in vitro. This has limited our ability to understand pregnancy disorders. Generating an in vitro model that recapitulates the unique features of the human placenta has been challenging. The first in vitro model system of human trophoblast that could be cultured long term and differentiated to syncytiotrophoblast (SCT) and extravillous trophoblast(EVT) was a two-dimensional (2D) culture system of human trophoblast stem cells. Here, we describe a protocol to isolate trophoblast from first-trimester human placentas that can be grown long term in a three-dimensional (3D) organoidculture system. Trophoblast organoids can be established within 2−3 weeks, passaged every 7–10 d, and cultured for overa year. The structural organization of these human trophoblast organoids closely resembles the villous placenta with alayer of cytotrophoblast (VCT) that differentiates into superimposed SCT. Altering the composition of the medium leads to differentiation of the trophoblast organoids into HLA-G+EVT cells which rapidly migrate and invade through the Matrigel droplet in which they are cultured. Our previous research confirmed that there is similarity between the trophoblast organoids and in vivo placentas in their transcriptomes and ability to produce placental hormones. This organoid culture system provides an experimental model to investigate human placental development and function as well as interactions of trophoblast cells with the local and systemic maternal environment.


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