Role of human leukocyte antigens at the feto-maternal interface in normal and pathological pregnancy: An update

Chiara Tersigni, Federica Meli, Caterina Neri, Azzurra Iacoangeli, Rita Franco, Antonio Lanzone, Giovanni Scambia, Nicoletta Di Simone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The successful maternal tolerance of the semi-allogeneic fetus provides an apparent immunologic paradox. Indeed, deep invasion of placental trophoblast cells into maternal uterine tissue and the following growth of the fetus have to be tolerated by a pregnant woman’s immune system. Among the various possible protective mechanisms that may be involved in human pregnancy, the expression of a non-classical pattern of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules and the complete lack of expression of HLA class II molecules in placental tissues seem to be the most relevant mechanisms of fetal escape from maternal immune recognition. The importance of HLA molecules in fetal toleration by the maternal immune system is highlighted by pregnancy complications occurring in cases of abnormal HLA molecule expression at the maternal–fetal interface. In this review, we summarize evidences about the role of placental HLA molecules in normal and pathological pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4756
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume21
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)
  • Maternal–fetal interface
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Pregnancy
  • Syncytiotrophoblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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