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Characterization of cynomolgus and vervet monkey placental MHC class I expression: diversity of the nonhuman primate AG locus.

ABSTRACT: Nonhuman primates are important animal models for the study of the maternal immune response to implantation within the decidua. The objective of this study was to define the placental expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules in the cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) and vervet (African green) (Chlorocebus aethiops) monkeys. Early pregnancy (d36-42) cynomolgus and vervet placentas were obtained by fetectomy and prepared for histological evaluation. A pan-MHC class I monoclonal antibody demonstrated MHC class I expression in both vervet and cynomolgus placental trophoblasts, with particularly high expression in the villous syncytium, as previously shown in the rhesus and baboon. Placental cytotrophoblasts were isolated by enzymatic dispersion and gradient centrifugation and cultured, and multicolor flow cytometry was used to phenotype cell populations. Culture of isolated villous cytotrophoblasts demonstrated that MHC class I expression was linked to syncytiotrophoblast differentiation. A monoclonal antibody against Mamu-AG, the nonclassical MHC class I homolog of HLA-G in the rhesus monkey, demonstrated intense immunostaining and cell surface expression in cynomolgus placental trophoblasts; however, staining with vervet placenta and cells was low and inconsistent. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to clone MHC class I molecules expressed in cynomolgus and vervet placentas. While Mafa-AG messenger RNA (mRNA) was readily detectable in cynomolgus placental RNA and was >99% identical at the amino acid level with Mamu-AG, 7/8 Chae-AG complementary DNAs had an unusual 16 amino acid repeat in the alpha1 domain, and all clones had an unexpected absence of the early stop codon at the 3'-end of the mRNA diagnostic for rhesus, cynomolgus, and baboon AG mRNAs, as well as HLA-G. We conclude that while the vervet monkey has retained the placental expression of a primate-specific nonclassical MHC class I locus, diversity is also revealed in this locus expressed at the maternal-fetal interface, thought to participate in placental regulation of the maternal immune response to embryo implantation and pregnancy.

SUBMITTER: Bondarenko GI 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2810720 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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