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Am J Reprod Immunol. 1989 May;20(1):21-6.

Suppression of T-lymphocyte blastogenesis by ovine trophoblast protein-1 and human interferon-alpha may be independent of interleukin-2 production.

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  • 1Department of Dairy Science, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211.


Cells derived from the trophoblast tissue of a day 15 sheep conceptus released substances that inhibit incorporation of [3H]thymidine into phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated ovine lymphocytes. This effect was partially reversed by addition of antiserum to ovine trophoblast protein-1 (oTP-1), a major secretory product of day 13-21 sheep conceptuses and a protein structurally and functionally related to alpha-interferons (IFN-alpha). Human IFN-alpha, unlike dexamethasone, inhibits phytohemagglutinin-induced lymphocyte blastogenesis without reducing interleukin-2 (IL-2) production by the cultures, and conditioned medium containing IL-2 does not promote [3H]thymidine incorporation into ovine lymphocytes when oTP-1 is present. Thus, oTP-1, by virtue of being an IFN, may have a local immunomodulatory role by selectively inhibiting the proliferative responses of certain maternal immune cells to IL-2.

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