Lack of human leukocyte antigen-G expression in extravillous trophoblasts is associated with pre-eclampsia

D.S. Goldman-Wohl
2000 Molecular human reproduction  
Pre-eclampsia, a common complication of first pregnancies, is thought to result from a poorly perfused placenta and may reflect an abnormal maternal immune reaction to the hemiallogenic fetus. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G, a major histocompatibility tissue-specific antigen expressed in extravillous trophoblast cells (fetal-derived), may protect trophoblasts from maternal-fetal immune intolerance and allow these cells to invade the uterus. Through RNA in-situ hybridization analysis, we
more » ... the expression pattern of HLA-G in normal placentae and placentae from pregnancies complicated by severe pre-eclampsia. In normal placenta we found HLA-G expression in the anchoring extravillous trophoblasts with an increasing gradient of expression in the more invasive cells. However, in nine out of 10 pre-eclamptic placentae HLA-G expression was absent or reduced. We conclude that HLA-G is normally expressed in invasive trophoblasts and HLA-G expression is defective in most pre-eclamptic placentae. We propose that trophoblasts lacking HLA-G are vulnerable to attack by the maternal immune system. These defective trophoblasts will be unable to invade the maternal spiral arteries effectively, thereby developing vessels which cannot adequately nourish the developing placenta. This poorly perfused placenta may initiate the systemic cascade of events associated with pre-eclampsia.
doi:10.1093/molehr/6.1.88 pmid:10611266 fatcat:5libsdngvrcqjbvrl3sdotlbpu