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Reproduction. 2005 Oct;130(4):529-37.

Murine CD200+ CK7+ trophoblasts in a poly (I:C)-induced embryo resorption model.

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Institute of Tissue Transplantation and Immunology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China.


Cytokeratin 7 (CK7) is currently regarded as the best marker for trophoblast cells, while CD200 (OX-2), known as 'tolerance signal', plays an important role in normal pregnancy. In this study, the status of CD200 expression was investigated in BALB/c x C57BL/6 and BALB/c x BALB/c mating combinations designed as allogeneic and syngeneic murine models of induced embryo resorption, in which the resorption rate was boosted by an i.p. injection of poly (I:C), a synthetic double-stranded RNA. The percentage of CD200+ cells in the CK7+ cell population (CD200+ CK7+ percentage) and the absolute number of these cells were determined with flow cytometry, using trophoblast cells collected at day 8.5 and day 13.5 of gestation. The potential effect of poly (I:C) on CD200 expression was also evaluated by detecting the CD200+ CK7+ percentage in trophoblast cells incubated in the presence or absence of poly (I:C), in vitro. The distribution pattern of CD200+ cells at the feto-maternal interface was evaluated by immunocytochemical examination. When 10(4) cells were analyzed at day 8.5 of gestation in each case, no significant difference was observed between the poly (I:C)-treated group and the control PBS group either in the CD200+ CK7+ percentage or in the absolute number of these cells. Similar results were observed both in BALB/c x C57BL/6 mice and in BALB/c x BALB/c mice. However, the CD200+ CK7+ percentage was significantly decreased in the poly (I:C)-treated group when evaluated at day 13.5 of gestation. Accordingly, a dramatically elevated rate of embryo resorption was observed at this time point of pregnancy after the administration of poly (I:C). In addition, the CD200+ CK7+ percentage was significantly lower in trophoblast cells incubated with poly (I:C) at a certain concentration, in vitro, while histocytochemical examination showed the CD200+ cells mainly scattered in placental tissue adjacent to the interface of the placenta and uterus. This indicates that sufficient expression of the CD200 molecule on CK7+ cells at the feto-maternal interface may be necessary for the maintenance of embryos during pregnancy in this rodent model, while poly (I:C) administration may increase embryo resorption, at least partially via direct inhibition of CD200 expression on CK7+ cells.

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