Placental protein 13 and decidual zones of necrosis: An immunologic diversion that may be linked to preeclampsia

Harvey J. Kliman, M. Sammar, Y. I. Grimpel, S. K. Lynch, K. M. Milano, E. Pick, J. Bejar, A. Arad, J. J. Lee, H. Meiri, R. Gonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated the role of placental protein 13 (PP13; galectin 13) in the process of trophoblast invasion and decidual necrosis. Immunohistochemical analysis for PP13, immune cells, human placental lactogen, cytokeratin, and apoptosis markers was performed on 20 elective pregnancy termination specimens between 6 and 15 weeks of gestation. Placental protein 13 was localized to syncytiotrophoblasts in the chorionic villi and to occasional multinucleated luminal trophoblasts within converted decidual spiral arterioles. Cytotrophoblasts, anchoring trophoblasts, and invasive trophoblasts did not stain for PP13. Extracellular PP13 aggregates were found around decidual veins associated with T-cell-, neutrophil- and macrophage-containing decidual zones of necrosis (ZONEs). We hypothesize that PP13 is secreted into the intervillus space, drains through the decidua basalis veins, and forms perivenous PP13 aggregates which attract and activate maternal immune cells. Thus, syncytiotrophoblast-derived PP13 may create a ZONE that facilitates trophoblast invasion and conversion of the maternal spiral arterioles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-30
Number of pages15
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded in part by a research grant from the European Union (FP6-grant # 037244, project title Pregenesys) to HM, the Finland Israel R&D Fund grant #41256 (Eureka—3808 RPT) to HM and SM, and support from the Yale University Reproductive and Placental Research Unit to HJK.


  • PP13
  • galectin 13
  • necrosis
  • placenta
  • preeclampsia
  • pregnancy
  • trophoblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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