Cell type-dependent response to benzo(a)pyrene exposure of human placental cell lines under normoxic, hypoxic, and pro-inflammatory conditions

Yifeng Dai*, Xijin Xu, Xia Huo, Joost H N Schuitemaker, Marijke M Faas

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) can be detected in the human placenta. However, little is known about the effects of BaP exposure on different placental cells under various conditions. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of BaP on mitochondrial function, pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, and apoptosis in three human trophoblast cell lines under normoxia, hypoxia, and inflammatory conditions. JEG-3, BeWo, and HTR-8/SVneo cell lines were exposed to BaP under normoxia, hypoxia, or inflammatory conditions for 24 h. After treatment, we evaluated cell viability, apoptosis, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) protein and cytochrome P450 (CYP) gene expression, mitochondrial function, including mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn), mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), intracellular adenosine triphosphate (iATP), and extracellular ATP (eATP), nitric oxide (NO), NLPR3 inflammasome proteins, and interleukin (IL)-1β. We found that BaP upregulated the expression of AhR or CYP genes to varying degrees in all three cell lines. Exposure to BaP alone increased ΔΨm in all cell lines but decreased NO in BeWo and HTR-8/SVneo, iATP in HTR-8/SVneo, and cell viability in JEG-3, without affecting apoptosis. Under hypoxic conditions, BaP did not increase the expression of AhR and CYP genes in JEG-3 cells but increased CYP gene expression in two others. Pro-inflammatory conditions did not affect the response of the 3 cell lines to BaP with respect to the expression of CYP genes and changes in the mitochondrial function and NLRP3 inflammasome proteins. In addition, in HTR-8/SVneo cells, BaP increased IL-1β secretion in the presence of hypoxia and poly(I:C). In conclusion, our results showed that BaP affected mitochondrial function in trophoblast cell lines by increasing ΔΨm. This increased ΔΨm may have rescued the trophoblast cells from activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and apoptosis after BaP treatment. We also observed that different human trophoblast cell lines had cell type-dependent responses to BaP exposure under normoxia, hypoxia, or pro-inflammatory conditions.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Vroegere onlinedatum4-apr.-2024
StatusPublished - mei-2024


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