Stephen J. Renaud, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine

PhD, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 2008
Postdoctoral, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2009-2013

Our laboratory is interested in the fundamental regulation of placental development. The placenta is essential for human reproduction, and placental maldevelopment is implicated in a host of obstetric complications that cause significant morbidity and mortality for moms and babies in the United States and worldwide. Specifically, we are interested in trophoblast differentiation and behavior, since these cells comprise the epithelial component of the placenta and perform the vast majority of its functions. Our research interests can be broadly divided into two themes:

i) Transcriptional control of trophoblast differentiation: trophoblast cells undergo a multilineage differentiation pathway. Active projects in the laboratory involve deciphering the transcriptional regulation of syncytiotrophoblast regeneration by conserved, zinc finger OVO-like transcription factors. We have evidence that OVO-like proteins control the expression of endogenous retroviral "syncytin" genes, which are known to catalyze syncytiotrophoblast generation.

ii) Defining interactions between maternal immune cells and trophoblast cells: we are interested in how trophoblast cells interact with maternal immune cells. Trophoblast cells express paternal antigens and should be recognized as foreign by maternal immune cells. Why trophoblast cells are tolerated under most circumstances is not clear, and it is hypothesized that aberrant interactions between maternal immune cells and trophoblast cells may play a role in the development of some obstetric complications. We have recently generated rats harboring a functional loss of the interleukin-15 gene, resulting in natural killer (NK) cell depletion. Since NK cells comprise the predominant uterine leukocyte population, we are currently investigating reproductive outcomes in this innovative model.

Collectively, it is anticipated that data derived from these studies will improve our understanding of placental morphogenesis and shed light on the etiology of pregnancy complications associated with aberrant placental development.

Selected Publications

Renaud SJ, Kubota K, Rumi M.A., and Soares MJ. The FOS transcription factor family differentially controls trophoblast migration and invasion. J Biol Chem. 2013 [Epub ahead of print].

Soares MJ, Chakraborty D, Renaud SJ, Kubota K, Bu P, Konno T, Rumi MA. Regulatory pathways controlling the endovascular invasive trophoblast cell lineage. J Reprod Dev. 2012 58(3):283-7.

Soares MJ, Chakraborty D, Karim Rumi MA, Konno T, Renaud SJ. Rat placentation: an experimental model for investigating the hemochorial maternal-fetal interface. Placenta. 2012 33(4):233-43.

Asanoma K, Kubota K, Chakraborty D, Renaud SJ, Wake N, Fukushima K, Soares MJ, Rumi MA. SATB homeobox proteins regulate trophoblast stem cell renewal and differentiation. J Biol Chem. 2012 287(3):2257-68.

Konno T, Rempel LA, Rumi MA, Graham AR, Asanoma K, Renaud SJ, Soares MJ. Chromosome-substituted rat strains provide insights into the genetics of placentation. Physiol Genomics. 2011 43(15):930-41.

Barsoum IB, Renaud SJ, Graham CH. Glyceryl trinitrate inhibits hypoxia-induced release of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 and endoglin from placental tissues. Am J Pathol. 2011 178(6):2888-96.

Asanoma K, Rumi MAK, Kent, LN, Chakraborty D, Renaud SJ, Wake N, Lee, D-S, Kubota K, and Soares MJ. FGF4-dependent stem cells derived from rat blastocysts differentiate along the trophoblast lineage. Dev Biol. 2011 351(1):110-9.

Renaud SJ, Cotechini T, Quirt JS, Macdonald-Goodfellow SK, Othman M, and Graham CH. Spontaneous pregnancy loss mediated by abnormal maternal inflammation in rats is linked to deficient uteroplacental perfusion. J Immunol. 2011 186(3):1799-808.

Renaud SJ, Karim Rumi MA, and Soares MJ. Genetic manipulation of the rodent placenta. Placenta. 2011 32 Suppl 2:S130-5. PMID 21256588.

Badham HJ, Renaud SJ, Wan J, Winn LM. Benzene-initiated oxidative stress: Effects on embryonic signaling pathways. Chem Biol Interact. 2010 184(1-2):218-21.

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Stephen J. Renaud, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor