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J Immunol. 1990 Jun 1;144(11):4420-5.

Identification of class I MHC mRNA in human first trimester trophoblast cells by in situ hybridization.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66103.


Special gestation-related regulatory mechanisms for the expression of class I Ag by trophoblast cells directly exposed to maternal blood and tissues may be required for semiallogeneic pregnancy to be successful. Analysis of class I MHC mRNA by in situ hybridization and class I MHC Ag by immunohistology has revealed two phenotypically distinct subpopulations of trophoblast cells in term placentas and extraplacental membranes. Trophoblast cells external to the placenta are mRNA +/Ag+. They contain class I mRNA and express class I Ag that differ serologically from HLA-A,B,C. In contrast, trophoblast cells forming the syncytial layer of placental villi are mRNA-/Ag-. By immunohistology, trophoblast cells in 1st trimester placental tissues are similar to those in term tissues. In our study, in situ hybridization was used to determine if patterns of trophoblast cell class I mRNA were the same or different. Trophoblast cells external to the placental villi in 1st trimester tissues contained class I mRNA as would be predicted from the results with term tissues. Unexpectedly, class I mRNA was found in villous trophoblast cells. Thus, these studies identified an mRNA+/Ag- trophoblast cell subpopulation. The results suggest that tissue-specific mechanisms may interfere with translation of class I mRNA in 1st trimester villous trophoblast cells and/or that the protein products of the mRNA are not identified by available mAb.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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