To investigate the expressions of Fas and Fas ligand (FasL) in human placenta, we studied the expressions of Fas and FasL in placenta with RT-PCR, immunoblotting and immunostaining. We observed amplified products of Fas and FasL transcripts, the band of Fas (52 kDa) and multiple bands of FasL (42-52 kDa) in placenta. Fas and FasL localized mainly on fetal vessels and on syncytiotrophoblasts respectively. The differential distribution of Fas and FasL in human placenta may reflect intrinsic expressions of them by trophoblasts during differentiation. The increased expression of Fas in trophoblasts may promote apoptosis of placenta in pathologic condition such as preeclampsia
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