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Publications (2)8.2 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The non-classical major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ib antigens, termed HLA-G and HLA-E, have been associated with fetal maternal tolerance. The role of HLA-G in the preimplantation embryo remains unclear although immunoprotection, adhesion and cell signalling mechanisms have been suggested. Unlike HLA-G, HLA-E protein expression has not been previously studied in preimplantation embryos. Embryos and model trophoblast cell lines JEG-3 and BeWo were labelled with the HLA-G- and HLA-E-specific monoclonal antibodies MEMG9 and MEME07. Flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and single particle fluorescence imaging techniques were employed to investigate the spatial and temporal expression of these receptors. Lipid raft analysis and adhesion assays were performed to investigate the role of these receptors in cell membrane domains and in promoting adhesion by cell-to-cell contact. HLA-E and HLA-G were co-localized in the trophectoderm of day 6 blastocysts. Analysis on trophoblast cell lines revealed that 37% of HLA-G and 41% of HLA-E receptors were co-localized as tetramers or higher order homodimer clusters. HLA-G receptors did not appear to play a role in either cell adhesion or immunoreceptor signalling via lipid raft platforms on the cell membrane. A possible role of HLA-G and HLA-E in implantation via immunoregulation or modulation of uterine maternal leukocytes is discussed.
    Reproductive biomedicine online 02/2010; 20(2):223-33. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) secretion by human preimplantation embryos in culture has been associated with successful embryo development, and therefore has potential to serve as a noninvasive marker of embryo viability. We have examined the spatial and temporal expression of HLA-G in embryos of varying developmental competence and the role of maternal factors in human embryonic HLA-G expression. Embryos that reached blastocyst stage on day 5 showed a higher frequency of sHLA-G secretion than those at morula or arrested stages (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in sHLA-G secretion between normal embryos and those diagnosed as chromosomally abnormal by preimplantation genetic diagnosis. HLA-G detected in maternal plasma and follicular fluid did not appear to correlate with HLA-G expressed in the embryo or embryo supernatants. Confocal microscopy analysis indicated that HLA-G protein expression in embryos was not homogeneous; mostly, it was confined to blastocysts localized on trophectoderm and trophectoderm projections. Single-particle fluorescent imaging analysis of HLA-G on the cell surface of JEG-3 cells showed that HLA-G particles were mostly monomeric, but dimeric and higher order oligomers were also observed. These results suggest that HLA-G play an important role in preimplantation embryo development. However, the observed expression of HLA-G in arrested and chromosomally abnormal embryos indicates that HLA-G testing should be used with caution and in conjunction with conventional methods of embryo screening and selection.
    The Journal of Immunology 04/2008; 180(6):4330-7. · 5.52 Impact Factor