Maternal GRB10 microdeletion is a novel cause of cystic placenta: Spectrum of genomic changes in the etiology of enlarged cystic placenta

Urvashi Surti, Svetlana Yatsenko, Jie Hu, Daniel Bellissimo, W. Tony Parks, Lori Hoffner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction The genetics and pathology of diploid complete and triploid partial hydatidiform moles have been well established. Enlarged cystic placenta often indicates an underlying etiology and is frequently associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. Several imprinted genes are strongly expressed in placental tissues and essential for normal placental growth and development. Disruption of these imprinted genes can lead to abnormal placental pathology and placental stunting or overgrowth. We present the genetic etiologies of five unusual mosaic cases of enlarged cystic placentas and report a novel etiology, mosaicism for deletion of the maternal GRB10 gene. Methods Five mosaic placental mesenchymal dysplasia cases with discrete populations of “cystic” and “normal” villi and/or atypical p57KIP2 immunostaining were evaluated by genetic analysis; including G-banded karyotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), whole genome CGH + SNP microarray, conventional Sanger sequencing, and STR microsatellite analysis. Results Genetic etiologies ranged from genome-wide changes, including mosaic androgenetic isodisomy and mosaic diandric triploidy, to a novel microdeletion of the maternally-expressed GRB10 gene. An abnormal mosaic population of cells was also detected in the fetus in two cases. Discussion Four cases were mosaic for either diandric triploidy or an androgenetic cell population, and the enlarged cystic placentas were likely due to an excess of paternally-expressed growth promoting genes and also the absence of maternally-expressed growth restricting genes. Also we identified mosaicism for a novel microdeletion of the maternal GRB10 allele, a potent growth inhibitor, which resulted in placental overgrowth in the cystic area of one placenta. We advocate the use of ancillary techniques to investigate complex mosaic cases of enlarged cystic placentas to discover atypical genetic etiologies and to increase our understanding of the placental genome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Androgenetic
  • Cystic placenta
  • GRB10
  • Placental mesenchymal dysplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology

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