Punicalagin promotes human villous trophoblast differentiation

Baosheng Chen, Mark S. Longtine, Maria Laura Costa, D. Michael Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Poor differentiation of trophoblasts is associated with placental dysfunction, predisposing women to multiple pregnancy disorders. Punicalagin, a prominent ellagitannin in pomegranate juice has been shown to exert anti-apoptosis and anti-oxidative effects in human trophoblasts. We hypothesized that punicalagin modulates trophoblast differentiation. We found that punicalagin-treated primary trophoblast showed reduced E-cadherin, higher Syncytin 1, more β-hCG, and increased GCM1, an upstream regulator of β-hCG. Punicalagin exposure of villous explants enhanced the number of cytotrophoblasts expressing the proliferation marker Ki67. We conclude that punicalagin enhances trophoblast differentiation and speculate that punicalagin might be used therapeutically in pregnancies at risk for placental dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80
Number of pages1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Differentiation
  • Placenta
  • Polyphenol
  • Pomegranate


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