Current Strategies of Modeling Human Trophoblast Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in vitro

Virginia Chu Cheung, Tony Bui, Francesca Soncin, Tao Bai, John A. Kessler, Mana M. Parast, Mariko Horii*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We previously established a trophoblast differentiation protocol from primed human pluripotent stem cells (PSC). To induce this lineage, we use a combination of Bone Morphogenetic Protein-4 (BMP4) and the WNT inhibitor IWP2. This protocol has enabled us to obtain a pure population of trophectoderm (TE)-like cells that could subsequently be terminally differentiated into syncytiotrophoblasts (STB) and extravillous trophoblasts (EVT). However, the resulting TE-like cells could only be terminally differentiated to a variable mixture of STB and EVT, with a bias toward the STB lineage. Recently, methods have been developed for derivation and culture of self-renewing human trophoblast stem cells (TSC) from human embryos and early gestation placental tissues. These primary TSCs were further able to differentiate into either STB or EVT with high efficiency using the lineage specific differentiation protocols. Based partly on these protocols, we have developed methods for establishing self-renewing TSC-like cells from PSC, and for efficient lineage-specific terminal differentiation. Here, we describe in detail the protocols to derive and maintain PSC-TSC, from both embryonic stem cells (ESC) and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), and their subsequent terminal differentiation to STB and EVT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere875
JournalCurrent Protocols
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • extravillous trophoblast
  • human pluripotent stem cell
  • human trophoblast stem cell
  • syncytiotrophoblast
  • trophoblast differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Health Informatics
  • General Neuroscience


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