Conditionally immortalized syncytiotrophoblast cell lines as new tools for study of the blood-placenta barrier

Tomohide Kitano, Hisashi Iizasa, In Won Hwang, Yoko Hirose, Tomonari Morita, Tomomi Maeda, Emi Nakashima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Syncytiotrophoblasts play an essential role in restriction of drug delivery through the blood-placenta barrier (BPB). Conditionally immortalized syncytiotrophoblast cell lines, TR-TBTs, were established at gestational day 18 from pregnant transgenic rats (Tg-rats) harboring the temperature-sensitive SV 40 (ts SV40) large T-antigen. TR-TBTs exhibit temperature-sensitive cell growth due to the expression of SV 40 large T-antigen, and thus the cell growth can be regulated by changing the culture temperature. TR-TBTs exhibit typical properties of syncytiotrophoblast cells, such as syncytium-like morphology, the expression of cytokeratins and hormones, and polarized expression of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) and GLUT3. TR-TBTs express in vivo influx and efflux transporters, such as taurine transporter (TauT), betaine/GABA transporter (BGT-1), amino acid transporter 2 (ATA2), organic anion transporting polypeptide 2 (oatp2), organic cation/carnitine transporter (OCTN2), P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2). Moreover, TR-TBTs exhibit taurine, GABA, and DHEA-S uptake activity via TauT, BGT-1, and oatp2, respectively. Therefore, TR-TBTs can be used for the analysis of these functions and would be a good in vitro models for investigating carrier-mediated transport functions at the BPB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-759
Number of pages7
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun


  • Blood-placenta barrier
  • TR-TBTs
  • Transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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