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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Decidual macrophages are potentially susceptible to inhibition by class Ia and class Ib HLA molecules.

Several members of the immunoglobulin-like transcript (ILT), also called leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor (LIR), family of transmembrane proteins have been identified as receptors for class I HLA molecules and transduce inhibitory signals to leukocytes upon binding of these ligands. The ligands for ILT2 (LIR1/CD85j) and ILT4 (LIR2/CD85d) include HLA-A, -B, and -G, the last of which is highly expressed in fetal trophoblast cells in both membrane-bound and soluble isoforms. To investigate the potential of fetally-derived HLA class I molecules to interact with maternal macrophages through these receptors, we examined the expression patterns of ILT2 and ILT4 in decidual macrophages. Highly purified populations of decidual macrophages were obtained by fluorescence activated cell sorting and were examined by RT-PCR for these messages. Analysis of mRNA from first trimester and term macrophages, as well as the monocyte cell line U937, resulted in amplicons of similar size to those expected for ILT2 and ILT4. Sequence analysis of the amplicons revealed that the messages from decidual macrophages corresponded to ILT2 and ILT4 messages. The message amplified from the U937 cells using the ILT2 primers was also found to be identical to ILT2; however, sequence analysis revealed that the ILT4 message amplified from these cells is a truncated form of the message. Dual label flow cytometry confirmed the expression of ILT2 and ILT4 on CD14-positive first trimester decidual macrophages and U937 cells. These results reveal that inhibitory HLA receptors are expressed in decidual macrophages and suggest that HLA-G may deliver negative signals to maternal decidual macrophages through interaction with these receptors.[1]


  1. Decidual macrophages are potentially susceptible to inhibition by class Ia and class Ib HLA molecules. Petroff, M.G., Sedlmayr, P., Azzola, D., Hunt, J.S. J. Reprod. Immunol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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