Author(s): Lyden TW, Vogt E, Ng AK, Johnson PM, Rote NS
Naturally occurring antibodies against the negatively charged phospholipids cardiolipin (CL) and phosphatidylserine (PS) have been associated with recurrent pregnancy loss. One prevalent hypothesis proposes that antiphospholipid antibody (aPL) mediated pathophysiology is through increased placental thrombosis. In this study we investigated the reactivity of three mouse monoclonal aPLs with term and 26 week human placental preparations. Each monoclonal antibody reacted differently with CL and PS; 3SB9b reacted with PS (CL-/PS+), D11A4 reacted with CL (CL+/PS-) and BA3B5C4 reacted with both CL and PS (CL+/PS+). 3SB9b reacted strongly with the syncytiotrophoblastic layer of both formalin fixed and frozen placental tissue. Sporadic reactivity was observed against the cytotrophoblastic layer. BA3B5C4 reacted strongly and specifically with cytotrophoblastic cells. D11A4 had only weak reactivity in the subtrophoblastic stromal region of the placenta in frozen sections. aPL staining was also observed against extravillous cytotrophoblast. BA3B5C4 stained cytoplasmic structures, whereas 3SB9b stained the plasma membrane region with little cytoplasmic staining. These data suggest that the trophoblastic layer is reactive with aPLs and may potentially be directly damaged through mechanisms unrelated to thrombosis. In addition, the trophoblastic layer directly in contact with the maternal circulation is most reactive with aPLs that are PS+ rather than CL+. The differential reactivity of 3SB9b and BA3B5C4 suggests that the antigenic conformation involving PS on the cytotrophoblast is altered concurrent with fusion into the syncytium.