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J Immunol. 2001 Mar 15;166(6):3882-9.

The Fc receptor for IgG expressed in the villus endothelium of human placenta is Fc gamma RIIb2.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


To evaluate the potential role of human placental endothelial cells in the transport of IgG from maternal to fetal circulation, we studied Fc gamma receptor (Fc gamma R) expression by immunohistology and immunoblotting. Several pan-Fc gamma RII Abs that label the placental endothelium displayed a distribution pattern that correlated well with transport functions, being intense in the terminal villus and nil in the cord. In contrast, the MHC class 1-like IgG transporter, FcRn, and the classical Fc gamma RIIa were not expressed in transport-related endothelium of the placenta. Our inference, that Fc gamma RIIb was the likely receptor, we confirmed by analyzing purified placental villi, enriched in endothelium, by immunoblotting with a new Ab specific for the cytoplasmic tail of Fc gamma RIIb. These experiments showed that the Fc gamma RII expressed in villus endothelium was the b2 isoform whose cytoplasmic tail is known to include a phosphotyrosyl-based motif that inhibits a variety of immune responses. We suggest that this receptor is perfectly positioned to transport IgG although as well it may scavenge immune complexes.

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