Vitamin D facilitates trophoblast invasion through induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Am J Reprod Immunol. 2017 Dec 4. Epub 2017 Dec 4. PMID: 29205625
Ryang Hee Kim
PROBLEM: Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of developing pregnancy-related complications, including preeclampsia and small-for-gestational-age infants. Vitamin D was demonstrated to promote the invasiveness of human extravillous trophoblasts (EVTs). However, whether vitamin D induces the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of EVTs remains unclear. Therefore, we investigated whether vitamin D promotes EMT and the related signaling pathways.
METHOD OF STUDY: In this study, we performed EMT experiments using JAR cells based on the expression of the mesenchymal markers and vitamin D receptor. JAR cells were treated with calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D. Western blotting was performed to evaluate EMT markers and key molecules of signaling pathways. Invasion assays were conducted. Expression and secretion of MMPs were analyzed by real-time PCR and zymography.
RESULTS: Calcitriol significantly enhanced EMT and the invasive capability of JAR cells, along with increased expression and secretion of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Moreover, ERK signaling pathway was activated by calcitriol. The effects of calcitriol were neutralized by ERK signaling blocker.
CONCLUSION: Calcitriol facilitated EMT induction and expression of MMPs via ERK signaling pathway, which promoted the invasive capability of EVTs. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the potential application of vitamin D in the prevention of pregnancy complications.