Soluble HLA-G in pregnancies complicated by autoimmune rheumatic diseases

Fausta Beneventi, Carla Badulli, Elena Locatelli, Roberto Caporali, Véronique Ramoni, Chiara Cavagnoli, Margherita Simonetta, Giulia Garbin, Carmine Tinelli, Claudia Alpini, CarloMaurizio Montecucco, Miryam Martinetti, Arsenio Spinillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autoimmune rheumatic diseases in pregnancies are associated with increased adverse obstetric outcomes. We compared maternal soluble human leucocyte antigen-G (sHLA-G) blood levels in subjects with a rheumatic disease preexisting pregnancy and unaffected controls. Third-trimester blood maternal sHLA-G concentrations were significantly higher in subjects with rheumatic diseases than in controls (mean 93.1. ng/ml [SD 42.1] vs 58.1. ng/ml [SD 96.3], p= 0.003). Cord blood sHLA-G concentrations were significantly higher in rheumatic disease than in those born to control mothers (median 41.2. ng/ml [IQR: 3.3-44.0] vs 17.9. ng/ml [IQR: 17.2-88.1], p= 0.007). A strict positive correlation ( r= 0.88, p<0.001) was found between the maternal and fetal titers of ANA autoantibodies as well as between maternal and fetal sHLAG circulating levels ( r= 0.58 and r= 0.67, respectively, for controls and cases, p<0.001). Maternal s-HLA-G blood concentrations were significantly higher in subjects with rheumatic disease DEL/DEL homozygous for a polymorphism of the 3' untranslated regulatory region of HLA-G (HLA-G 14. bp) than in the corresponding healthy controls (mean values 141.5. ng/ml [SD: 166] vs 54.2. ng/ml [SD: 35], p= 0.009). Increasing maternal and cord blood levels of s-HLA-G concentrations among pregnant subjects with rheumatic diseases compared with controls suggest that autoimmune diseases prompt a maternal and fetal immune response that favors pregnancy immune tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Soluble HLA-G

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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