Author(s): de MoraesPinto MI, Vince GS, Flanagan BF, Hart CA, Johnson PM, de MoraesPinto MI, Vince GS, Flanagan BF, Hart CA, Johnson PM, de MoraesPinto MI, Vince GS, Flanagan BF, Hart CA, Johnson PM, de MoraesPinto MI, Vince GS, Flanagan BF, Hart CA, Johnson PM
Abstract Share this page
Abstract There has been much recent interest in cytokine expression at the materno-fetal interface. Although T-helper 2 (Th2)-type cytokines have been described in the murine feto-placental unit, few studies have as yet been performed in human pregnancy. We have examined the production of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and expression of IL-4 receptors in the human term placenta, decidua and amniochorionic membranes. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that cytotrophoblast, decidual macrophages and both maternal and fetal endothelial cells consistently expressed IL-4, whereas syncytiotrophoblast and placental macrophages showed an inconsistent pattern between specimens. High- and low-affinity IL-4 receptors were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry at the same cellular sites as stained for IL-4, and detection of IL-4 receptors was also variable in syncytiotrophoblast. Reverse-transcribed-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis showed that both IL-4 and its alternative splice variant, IL-482, are produced both in placental villi and in amniochorionic and decidual tissue. Ligand-binding assays identified the presence, on isolated term syncytiotrophoblast microvillous plasma membrane vesicle preparations, of functional high-affinity binding sites for IL-4 with a Kd in the range 102-112 pM and an apparent receptor density in the range 99-102 x 10(8) sites/mg protein. Three human choriocarcinoma (BeWo, JEG-3 and Jar) and one amnion-derived (AV3) cell lines expressed IL-4 and both high- and low-affinity IL-4 receptors. The constitutive expression of both IL-4 and IL-4 receptors, together with the novel finding of the alternative splice variant IL-482 in the immediate tissues at the materno fetal interface suggest an immunobiological role for IL-4 in human pregnancy.
This article was published in Immunology
and referenced in Journal of Immunobiology