Examination of the cellular mechanisms by which marinobufagenin inhibits cytotrophoblast function. Academic Article uri icon


  • Marinobufagenin (MBG) is an endogenous mammalian cardiotonic steroid involved in the inhibition of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. Increased plasma levels have been reported in patients with volume expansion-related hypertension. We have recently demonstrated that MBG impairs first trimester cytotrophoblast (CTB) cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, which may play a role in the development of preeclampsia. However, whether apoptosis contributes to altered CTB cell function by MBG remains unknown. Using the human extravillous CTB cell line SGHPL-4, we examined the effect of MBG and a similar Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase inhibitor, ouabain, on the phosphorylation status of Jnk, p38, and Src. Additionally, we measured apoptosis by caspase 9 and 3/7 activity and by annexin-V staining. We also investigated interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion with or without p38 and Jnk inhibition. MBG significantly increased the phosphorylation of Jnk, p38, and Src and increased the expression of caspase 9 and 3/7 indicating the activation of apoptosis. MBG treatment also stimulated the expression of the early apoptosis marker, annexin-V, which was prevented by Jnk and p38 inhibition. MBG also stimulated the secretion of IL-6, which was attenuated by p38 inhibition. Ouabain had similar effects to those of MBG, suggesting that the apoptotic effects on CTB cells may be mediated by inhibition of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. In conclusion, the MBG-induced impairment of CTB function occurs via activation of Jnk, p38, and Src leading to increased apoptosis and IL-6 secretion. These observations may have clinical applicability with respect to the therapy of preeclampsia.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Uddin, M. N., Horvat, D., Glaser, S. S., Mitchell, B. M., & Puschett, J. B.

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Uddin, Mohammad N||Horvat, Darijana||Glaser, Shannon S||Mitchell, Brett M||Puschett, Jules B

publication date

  • June 2008