Among the preeclampsia-related long non-cording RNAs (lncRNAs) screened with a gene chip in our preliminary study, uc.187 attracted our attention because of its high conservation across different species and significant positive correlation with preeclampsia (PE). The literature and bioinformatics analysis suggested that lncRNA uc.187 might be associated with cell growth, invasion, and apoptosis. The expression of uc.187 in severe preeclamptic placentas (n = 31) and normal placentas (n = 18) was evaluated by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). We constructed a silencing lentivirus vector (uc.187 siRNA) to explore the biological function of uc.187 in the development and progression of HTR-8/SVneo trophoblast cells in vitro. Furthermore, we utilized CCK8 analysis, a transwell invasion assay, and flow cytometry to determine the role of uc.187 in the proliferation, invasion, and apoptosis of HTR-8/SVneo trophoblast cells. The proteins related to proliferation (PCNA, Ki67), invasion (MMP-2/-9 and TIMP-1), and apoptosis (caspase-3, Bcl-2) were evaluated with a Western blot assay. The results showed that there was an obvious upregulation of uc.187 expression in preeclamptic placental tissues. In addition, uc.187 silencing enhanced cell proliferation and invasion and reduced the cellular apoptotic response. Taken together, our findings suggest for the first time that abnormal expression of lncRNA uc.187 may lead to the aberrant biological behavior of HTR-8/SVneo cells. Therefore, we propose uc.187 as a novel lncRNA molecule that might contribute to the development of PE and might represent a potential diagnostic and therapeutic target for this disease. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 1462-1470, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.