Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☒ URIS|
Preeclampsia is a common pregnancy complication. It is the leading cause of maternal mortality, neonatal morbidity, and mortality. Preeclampsia is typically manifested after 20 weeks of gestation, and the underlying pathogenesis is associated with abnormal placentation. So far, it is impossible to predict precisely the onset of preeclampsia.
CD147 is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein on the cell surface. One of the key features of CD147 is that it tends to interact with other membrane proteins to form complexes implicated in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions. Clinically, the expression of CD147 is down-regulated in patients with preeclampsia. In CD147 knockout mice, the number of offspring is reduced and the newborn mice are weak, which is possibly due to failure of placental development. However, the biological role(s) of CD147 in human pregnancy is unknown.
In this study, the vascular remodeling activity and the mechanism of actions on the vascular remodeling functions of CD147 on human trophoblast stem cells and organoids will be assessed. The relationship between placental CD147 expression and preeclampsia development in vivo will be established by placenta-specific CD147-knockdown/overexpression mouse models. Lastly, the expression of CD147 in early chorionic villus samples from preeclamptic pregnancies will be determined as a test for the early prediction of preeclampsia.
The outcome of this project will give a better understanding of the regulation of early placentation in humans. Clinically, the results of this study will indicate the possible use of CD147 as a novel treatment target for preeclampsia.
Dr CL Lee, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
My research focuses on the use of stem cell, organoid, and nanotechnology models to study placenta development and obstetrical syndromes; and investigate the functional role of placenta-derived extracellular vesicles as a modulator of feto-maternal immunotolerance.
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