Trophoblast organoids derived from placental villi provide a 3D model system of human placental development, but access to first-trimester tissues is limited. Here, we report that trophoblast stem cells isolated from naive human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can efficiently self-organize into 3D stem-cell-derived trophoblast organoids (SC-TOs) with a villous architecture similar to primary trophoblast organoids. Single-cell transcriptome analysis reveals the presence of distinct cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast clusters and a small cluster of extravillous trophoblasts, which closely correspond to trophoblast identities in the post-implantation embryo. These organoid cultures display clonal X chromosome inactivation patterns previously described in the human placenta. We further demonstrate that SC-TOs exhibit selective vulnerability to emerging pathogens (SARS-CoV-2 and Zika virus), which correlates with expression levels of their respective entry factors. The generation of trophoblast organoids from naive hPSCs provides an accessible 3D model system of the developing placenta and its susceptibility to emerging pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-825.e8
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 5 2022


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • X chromosome inactivation
  • Zika virus
  • cytotrophoblast
  • extravillous trophoblast
  • naive pluripotency
  • placental development
  • single-cell transcriptomics
  • syncytiotrophoblast
  • trophoblast organoids
  • trophoblast stem cells


Dive into the research topics of 'Stem-cell-derived trophoblast organoids model human placental development and susceptibility to emerging pathogens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this