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Keywords:

  • Decidua;
  • placenta;
  • antigen-presenting ability;
  • MHC restriction

ABSTRACT: The antigen-presenting capacity of cells within mouse decidual tissue and the fetal placenta was assessed using the antigen-presenting cell assay to measure immune T cell proliferation stimulated by a second presentation of antigen. Cells within decidual tissue bind and present the soluble antigen dinitrophenylated ovalbumin in an antigen-specific and major histocompatibility complex-restricted manner. Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) were detected in decidual tissue from day 8 until day 15 of pregnancy, in deciduoma and in fetal placental tissues. These findings show that cells within decidual tissue may serve as APCs with the ability to process and present fetal antigens to the maternal immune system and may therefore determine the direction of the maternal immune response of pregnancy.