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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Sep;183(3):682-8.

Soluble HLA-G circulates in maternal blood during pregnancy.

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Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160-7400, USA.



Soluble isoforms of the HLA class Ib gene HLA-G have been identified at the maternal-fetal interface. Because soluble forms of other HLA class I antigens modulate T-cell reactivity and induce cellactivated apoptosis, our goal was to determine whether soluble HLA-G circulates in maternal or fetal blood and to identify the specific isoform.


Capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays with mouse monoclonal antibodies directed toward an epitope present on all isoforms of soluble HLA-G were constructed to identify soluble HLA-G in 44 serum samples from nonpregnant control subjects, 129 serum samples from pregnant women, and 10 samples of term cord blood. Distinguishing between soluble HLA-G1, which is composed of heavy chains complexed with light chains (beta(2)-microglobulin), and soluble HLA-G2, which consists only of heavy chains, was achieved by substituting a monoclonal antibody that requires beta(2)-microglobulin for binding (W6/32) in the capture phase of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


Capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays with mouse anti-soluble HLA-G showed that soluble HLA-G was present at all stages of gestation and that levels of soluble HLA-G were statistically significantly higher in serum samples from pregnant women than in serum samples from nonpregnant women. In contrast, W6/32 failed to detect soluble HLA-G in serum samples from pregnant women. Cord serum samples did not contain detectable soluble HLA-G.


Collectively, the data indicate that pregnancy is characterized by the presence of soluble HLA-G circulating in maternal blood and strongly suggest that the major isoform is soluble HLA-G2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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