Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, inhibin, and activin in human placenta: Evidence for a common cellular localization

Felice Petraglia*, Teresa K. Woodruff, Giovanna Botticelli, Annibale Botticelli, Andrea R. Genazzani, Kelly E. Mayo, Wylie Vale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The human placenta produces several hypophysiotropic factors that participate in the control of local hormone secretion. In particular, previous reports showed that inhibin and activin modulate both GnRH release and hormonal effect in cultured human placental cells. The present study evaluated the possible correlations among the synthesis and cellular distribution of inhibin, activin, and GnRH in placental villi at term. mRNA coding for inhibin α- and β A-subunits and GnRH were localized in human placenta at term by in situ hybridization using the corresponding cDNA probes. Autoradiograms revealed that some placental cells express inhibin α- and β A-subunit and GnRH mRNAs. A common localization of the three hormonal mRNAs has been found in the inner part of the villi. Using affinity-purified polyclonal antisera, immunocytochemical studies confirmed that in placental villi at term, immunoreactive inhibin α- and β A-subunits and GnRH had a distribution that was superimposable in several areas. Both the outer layer and the inner trophoblasts contained immunoreactive hormonal products. The present data show that some placental cells at term can produce and release inhibin, activin, and/or GnRH. This complement of hypophysiotropic factors may, thus, represent a local paracrine/autocrine control mechanism within the placenta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1184-1188
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, inhibin, and activin in human placenta: Evidence for a common cellular localization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this