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Hum Immunol. 2013 Apr;74(4):468-72. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2012.11.030. Epub 2012 Dec 8.

Analyzing HLA-G polymorphisms in children from women with scleroderma.

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INSERM UMR 7268, Marseille, France.


Embryos during pregnancy and organs during transplantation, express high levels of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) molecules for successful implantation and protection against maternal immune cells or recipient's cells. We and others have shown that women with scleroderma (SSc) carry cells/DNA arising from pregnancy, so-called fetal microchimerism (Mc) more often and in higher quantities than healthy women decades after delivery. We hypothesized that high levels of fetal Mc were the consequence of a fetus with a high sHLA-G profile, therefore that children from women with SSc would have this profile more often than children from healthy women. High sHLA-G secretor profile is influenced by at least two variations in the HLA-G 3' untranslated region (UTR): a 14 bp deletion in exon 8 and the presence of cysteine (C) in position +3142 and by one variation in the 5' Upstream Regulatory Region (URR) at position -725. By a previously developed three-step multiplex PCR SNaPshot method, we evaluated 16 HLA-G polymorphisms in DNA samples from the first-born children of 39 women with SSc and 32 healthy women. Contrary to expectations, children from women with SSc did not have a high sHLA-G profile, but rather the opposite. We discuss possible reasons for this result and future orientations for HLA-G studies in SSc.

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