Recognition of nonclassical HLA class I antigens by γδ T cells during pregnancy

Aliz Barakonyi, Katalin T. Kovacs, Eva Miko, Laszlo Szereday, Peter Varga, Julia Szekeres-Bartho

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48 Citations (Scopus)


The healthy trophoblast does not express classical HLA-A and HLA-B products; therefore, an MHC-restricted recognition of trophoblast-presented Ags is unlikely. In the decidua and also in peripheral blood of healthy pregnant women, γδ T cells significantly increase in number. We investigated the possible role of γδ T cells in recognition of trophoblast-presented Ags. PBL and isolated γδ T cells from healthy pregnant women as well as from those at risk for premature pregnancy termination were conjugated to choriocarcinoma cells (JAR) transfected with nonclassical HLA Ags (HLA-E, HLA-G). To investigate the involvement of killer-inhibitory/killer-activatory receptors in trophoblast recognition, we tested the effect of CD94 block on cytotoxic activity of Vδ2+ enriched γδ T cells to HLA-E- and/or HLA-G-transfected targets. Lymphocytes from healthy pregnant women preferentially recognized HLA- choriocarcinoma cells, whereas those from pathologically pregnant patients did not discriminate between HLA+ and HLA- cells. Normal pregnancy Vδ2+ T cells conjugated at a significantly increased rate to HLA-E transfectants, whereas Vδ2+ lymphocytes from pathologically pregnant women did not show a difference between those and HLA-cells. Blocking of the CD94 molecule of Vδ2+ lymphocytes from healthy pregnant women resulted in an increased cytotoxic activity to HLA-E-transfected target cells. These data indicate that Vδ2+ lymphocytes of healthy pregnant women recognize HLA-E on the trophoblast, whereas Vδ1 cells react with other than HLA Ags. In contrast to Vδ2+ lymphocytes from healthy pregnant women, those from women with pathological pregnancies do not recognize HLA-E via their killer-inhibitory receptors and this might account for their high cytotoxic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2683-2688
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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