Introduction: P2Y14, one of the P2Y purinergic G-protein coupled receptors, is expressed in a variety of cells and tissues. Its ligand, UDP-glucose (UDPG), is released from damaged and stress-stimulated cells and acts as a danger signal via P2Y14. Thus, P2Y14 plays an important role in immunological defense systems. Here, we aimed to elucidate the expression, localization, and role of P2Y14 in human trophoblasts and the placenta. Methods: Human chorionic villus and placental tissues were subjected to immunostaining for P2Y14 protein and an extravillous trophoblast (EVT) marker, HLA-G. We examined the expression of P2Y14 and the effect of UDPG on cell proliferation and invasion in an EVT cell line, HTR-8/SVneo, using an MTS assay and a Transwell assay, respectively. We tested the effect of UDPG on cell invasion in P2Y14-underexpressing HTR-8/SVneo clones established by the lentiviral introduction of shRNA for P2RY14 mRNA. Results: Immunostaining revealed that P2Y14 was exclusively expressed by EVTs. P2RY14 mRNA and P2Y14 protein were expressed in HTR-8/SVneo cells. UDPG did not affect cell proliferation but it did enhance invasion. Inhibition of P2Y14 and decreasing the expression of P2Y14 suppressed UDPG-mediated invasive activity. Conclusions: These results showed that EVT selectively expressed P2Y14 and that P2Y14 was positively involved in UDPG-enhanced EVT invasion. It suggests the possible existence of a danger signal-mediated physiological system at the fetomaternal interface where UDPG released from maternal tissues through destruction by EVT invasion may accelerate EVT invasion, allowing EVTs to undergo successful placentation and vascular remodeling.
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