Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), a neuropeptide with survival-promoting actions, has been observed in endocrine organs and is thought to play a role in reproductive functions, including pregnancy. PACAP occurs in two forms, 27 and 38 amino acid residues, with PACAP38 being the predominant form in human tissues. In the present study, we determined the concentrations of PACAP38 and PACAP27 in first-trimester and full-term human placentas using radioimmunoassay. We found high levels of PACAP38 and lower levels of PACAP27 in different parts of the full-term human placenta. PACAP38 content increased in the placenta during pregnancy, both on the maternal side and on the fetal side. The effects of PACAP on the survival of JAR human choriocarcinoma cells were investigated using flow cytometry and MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) cell viability assay in cells exposed to the widely used chemotherapeutic agent methotrexate (MTX). It was found that PACAP neither influenced the survival of JAR cytotrophoblast cells nor affected cellular response to the death-inducing effect of the chemotherapeutic agent MTX. The present observations further support the significance of PACAP in the human placenta. The observation that PACAP did not influence the effects of MTX may have future clinical importance, showing that PACAP does not decrease the effects of certain chemotherapeutic agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience