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Hum Immunol. 2004 Jun;65(6):586-93.

HLA-G genotype is associated with fetoplacental growth.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, 9 Blegdamsvej, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


The human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G is expressed by extravillous cytotrophoblast cells in the feto-maternal contact zone. Polymorphisms have been described in the HLA-G gene and have been linked with differences in HLA-G mRNA alternative splicing patterns and protein expression. Differences in the isoform profile or the degree of HLA-G expression may influence cytokine production and, thereby, placental and fetal growth. Associations between a 14 bp deletion polymorphism in the 3'UTR part of the HLA-G gene and birth weight in relation to gestational age and placental weight were studied in 47 pregnancies complicated with preeclampsia and 87 with no preeclampsia. An HLA-G genotype homozygous for the presence of the 14 bp sequence polymorphism was significantly associated with increased birth weight in relation to gestational age (one-way analysis of variance; 2 degrees of freedom: p = 0.02) and with placental weight at birth (>38 weeks of gestation; +14 bp/+14 bp vs others; unpaired t-test: p = 0.03). There was also a slightly higher placental ratio in the offspring with the +14 bp/+14 bp genotype. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to certain complications of pregnancy and in an evolutionary perspective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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