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Keywords:

  • Cytokine;
  • decidua;
  • HLA-G;
  • IFN-γ;
  • IL-4;
  • TNF-α

PROBLEM: To better understand the role of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G in regulating the T helper (Th)1/Th2 cytokine balance, one of key conditions in determining the fate of pregnancy, we asked whether the presence of HLA-G protein altered the release of cytokines from both decidual mononuclear cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). METHOD OF STUDY: The amounts of cytokines released from decidual mononuclear cells and PBMCs were compared in the presence or absence of HLA-G-expressing cells. RESULTS: When cocultured with HLA-G-expressing cells, the amounts of tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ released from decidual mononuclear cells and PBMCs were decreased, while the amounts of interleukin (IL)-4 from PBMCs was increased, with IL-4 release from decidual mononuclear cells being unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: Upon contact with HLA-G, decidual mononuclear cells, and PBMCs as well, modulate their ability to release cytokines in a way that may shift the Th1/Th2 balance towards relative Th2 dominance, suggesting a role for HLA-G in maintaining pregnancy.