Activating T regulatory cells for tolerance in early pregnancy - the contribution of seminal fluid.

Research Centre for Reproductive Health, Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
Journal of Reproductive Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 10/2009; 83(1-2):109-16. DOI: 10.1016/j.jri.2009.08.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A state of active tolerance mediated by T regulatory (Treg) cells must be functional from the time of embryo implantation to prevent the conceptus from maternal immune attack. Male seminal fluid and ovarian steroid hormones are implicated in regulating the size and suppressive function of the Treg cell pool during the peri-implantation phase of early pregnancy. Evidence that antigens and cytokine signals in seminal fluid regulate the maternal immune response includes the following: (1) the Treg cell-inducing cytokine TGFbeta and male alloantigens are present in seminal fluid; (2) seminal fluid delivery at coitus is sufficient to induce a state of active immune tolerance to paternal alloantigen, even in the absence of conceptus tissue; (3) female dendritic cells can cross-present seminal fluid antigens to activate both CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells, and (4) mating events deficient in either sperm or seminal plasma result in diminished CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) Treg cell populations at the time of embryo implantation. Ongoing studies indicate that the cytokine environment during priming to male seminal fluid antigens influences the phenotype of responding T cells, and impacts fetal survival in later gestation. Collectively, these observations implicate factors in the peri-conceptual environment of both male and female origin as important determinants of maternal immune tolerance. Defining the mechanisms controlling tolerance induction will be helpful for developing new therapies for immune-mediated pathologies of pregnancy such as miscarriage and pre-eclampsia.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Immune cells play an integral role in affecting successful reproductive function. Indeed, disturbed or aberrant immune function has been identified as primary mechanisms behind infertility. In contrast to the extensive body of literature that exists for human and mouse, studies detailing the immunological interaction between the embryo and the maternal endometrium are quite few in cattle. Nevertheless, by reviewing the existing studies and extrapolating from sheep, pig, mouse, and human data, we can draw a reasonably comprehensive picture. Key contributions of immune cell populations include granulocyte involvement in follicle differentiation and gamete transfer, monocyte invasion of the peri-ovulatory follicle and their subsequent role in corpus luteum formation and the pivotal roles of maternal macrophage and dendritic cells in key steps of the establishment of pregnancy, particularly, the maternal immune response to the embryo. These contributions are reviewed in detail below and key findings are discussed.
    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2015; 6:7. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2015.00007
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite decades of research, the highly prevalent pregnancy complication preeclampsia, "the disease of theories," has remained an enigma. Indeed, the etiology of preeclampsia is largely unknown. A compiling amount of studies indicates that the pathological basis involves a complex array of genetic predisposition and immunological maladaptation, and that a contribution from the mother, the father, and the fetus is likely to be important. The Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-G is an increasing focus of research in relation to preeclampsia. The HLA-G molecule is primarily expressed by the extravillous trophoblast cells lining the placenta together with the two other HLA class Ib molecules, HLA-E and HLA-F. Soluble isoforms of HLA-G have been detected in the early endometrium, the matured cumulus-oocyte complex, maternal blood of pregnant women, in umbilical cord blood, and lately, in seminal plasma. HLA-G is believed to be involved in modulating immune responses in the context of vascular remodeling during pregnancy as well as in dampening potential harmful immune attacks raised against the semi-allogeneic fetus. In addition, HLA-G genetic variants are associated with both membrane-bound and soluble forms of HLA-G, and, in some studies, with preeclampsia. In this review, a genetic contribution from the mother, the father, and the fetus, together with the presence and function of various immune cells of relevance in pregnancy are reviewed in relation to HLA-G and preeclampsia.
    Frontiers in Immunology 12/2014; 5:652. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00652
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A successful pregnancy depends on a complex process that establishes fetomaternal tolerance. Seminal plasma is known to induce maternal immune tolerance to paternal alloantigens, but the seminal factors that regulate maternal immunity have yet to be characterized. Here, we show that a soluble form of CD38 (sCD38) released from seminal vesicles to the seminal plasma plays a crucial role in inducing tolerogenic dendritic cells and CD4(+) forkhead box P3(+) (Foxp3(+)) regulatory T cells (Tregs), thereby enhancing maternal immune tolerance and protecting the semiallogeneic fetus from resorption. The abortion rate in BALB/c females mated with C57BL/6 Cd38(-/-) males was high compared with that in females mated with Cd38(+/+) males, and this was associated with a reduced proportion of Tregs within the CD4(+) T-cell pool. Direct intravaginal injection of sCD38 to CBA/J pregnant mice at preimplantation increased Tregs and pregnancy rates in mice under abortive sonic stress from 48 h after mating until euthanasia. Thus, sCD38 released from seminal vesicles to the seminal plasma acts as an immunoregulatory factor to protect semiallogeneic fetuses from maternal immune responses.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2015; 112(5). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1413493112 · 9.81 Impact Factor