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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 309082, 8 pages
Research Article

Noninvasive and Quantitative Assessment of In Vivo Fetomaternal Interface Angiogenesis Using RGD-Based Fluorescence

1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Unité 823, Institut Albert Bonniot, Rond-point de la Chantourne, 38700 La Tronche, France
2Université Grenoble Alpes, 38041 Grenoble, France
3Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives, Institut de Recherches en Sciences et Technologies pour le Vivant (iRTSV), Biologie du Cancer et de l’Infection, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble, France
4Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Unité 1036, Biologie du Cancer et de l’Infection, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble, France
5CHU de Grenoble, Hôpital Couple Enfant, Département de Génétique et Procréation, Centre d’Aide Médicale à la Procréation, BP 217, 38043 Grenoble, France

Received 3 May 2014; Accepted 27 May 2014; Published 10 July 2014

Academic Editor: Nathalie Bardin

Copyright © 2014 M. Keramidas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Angiogenesis is a key process for proper placental development and for the success of pregnancy. Although numerous in vitro methods have been developed for the assessment of this process, relatively few reliable in vivo methods are available to evaluate this activity throughout gestation. Here we report an in vivo technique that specifically measures placental neovascularization. The technique is based on the measurement of a fluorescent alpha beta 3 ( ) integrin-targeting molecule called Angiolone-Alexa-Fluor 700. The integrin is highly expressed by endothelial cells during the neovascularization and by trophoblast cells during their invasion of the maternal decidua. Angiolone was injected to gravid mice at 6.5 and 11.5 days post coitus (dpc). The fluorescence was analyzed one day later at 7.5 and 12.5 dpc, respectively. We demonstrated that (i) Angiolone targets protein in the placenta with a strong specificity, (ii) this technique is quantitative as the measurement was correlated to the increase of the placental size observed with increasing gestational age, and (iii) information on the outcome is possible, as abnormal placentation could be detected early on during gestation. In conclusion, we report the validation of a new noninvasive and quantitative method to assess the placental angiogenic activity, in vivo.