• TLX;
  • anti-idiotype;
  • immune regulation;
  • HLA;
  • pregnancy

ABSTRACT: Pregnancy results in the immunologic challenge of the female to a wide variety of allogeneic antigens. Particular attention has been given to antibodies directed to allotypic trophoblast antigens (TLX), for trophoblast form the true allograft interface between mother and fetus. Studies found that antibodies to paternal TLX allotypes are produced in women suffering from secondary recurrent abortions. These TLX antibodies are not directed to classical HLA private epitopes. In this report, treatment of lymphocytes with papain to remove HLA Class I did not decrease TLX antigen densities. These results suggest TLX antibodies are not directed to Class I epitopes, public or private. The allotypic nature of TLX antigens requires that a pregnant female must be able to regulate TLX immune responses to avoid rejection of the conceptus. One mechanism to specifically and systemically regulate TLX immunity is the idiotype anti-idiotype network. We provide preliminary evidence in this report for the presence of TLX idiotype network in a normal primigravida. Initially, no antipaternal TLX antibodies were detected in the serum of the primigravida, suggesting no TLX immunization had occurred. However, separation of Ab1 from Ab2 by absorption of primigravida serum with 2° aborter Abl resulted in seroconversion. The primigravi-da's Abl was cytotoxic for paternal and 3rd-party lymphocytes in a non-HLA-restricted pattern. Primigravida's Ab2 was recovered from the Ab1 matrix by competitive elution by using platelets as source of TLX antigen. The Ab2 was found to inhibit cytotoxicity by 2° aborter Ab1 as well as primigravida Ab1. This is evidence that the Ab2 recognizes a cross-reactive idiotype (CRI) on TLX antibodies. The presence of TLX anti-idiotype during normal pregnancy would function to regulate trophoblast immunity and may be required to ensure fetal allograft survival.