Blimp1/Prdm1 governs terminal differentiation of endovascular trophoblast giant cells and defines multipotent progenitors in the developing placenta.
Mould A., Morgan MA., Li L., Bikoff EK., Robertson EJ.
Developmental arrest of Blimp1/Prdm1 mutant embryos at around embryonic day 10.5 (E10.5) has been attributed to placental disturbances. Here we investigate Blimp1/Prdm1 requirements in the trophoblast cell lineage. Loss of function disrupts specification of the invasive spiral artery-associated trophoblast giant cells (SpA-TGCs) surrounding maternal blood vessels and severely compromises the ability of the spongiotrophoblast layer to expand appropriately, secondarily causing collapse of the underlying labyrinth layer. Additionally, we identify a population of proliferating Blimp1(+) diploid cells present within the spongiotrophoblast layer. Lineage tracing experiments exploiting a novel Prdm1.Cre-LacZ allele demonstrate that these Blimp1(+) cells give rise to the mature SpA-TGCs, canal TGCs, and glycogen trophoblasts. In sum, the transcriptional repressor Blimp1/Prdm1 is required for terminal differentiation of SpA-TGCs and defines a lineage-restricted progenitor cell population contributing to placental growth and morphogenesis.