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Human Placenta Contains Neurotensin: Immunohistochemical Evidence

K.R. Unnikumar


In an attempt to demonstrate the paraneuronal nature of the human placenta, an immunohistochemical study was conducted. Paraffin sections of human placenta consistently reacted with a rabbit antibody to neurotensin, positive staining being restricted to the cytotrophoblast cells. Although the placenta is not an innervated organ it contains a neurohormone of the hypothalamic-hypophyseal region. On this basis, it is suggested that the cytotrophoblast is akin to a paraneuron and may exhibit similar genetic programming capabilities to the neural crest cells that are destined to form the neural tissue of the embryo.

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