The immunologic adaptations of pregnancy have come under increasing scrutiny in the past 15 years. Existing experimental evidence clearly demonstrates that placental trophoblasts play an important role in regulating immunologic/inflammatory responses at the maternal-fetal interface. We used a well-developed gene expression array to examine in greater detail the physiologic response of trophoblast-like choriocarcinoma cells to a model immunologic 'challenge.' We co-cultured PHA-activated or resting peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with the human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR for time periods ranging from 2 to 18h. Messenger RNA expression in the JAR cells was then assessed using a 21,329-gene microarray and novel biostatistical analyses that we have previously published. Patterns of differential gene expression were assessed using a commercial pathway analysis software program. Differences in gene expression between JAR cells cultured with activated PBMC (experimental samples) and JAR cells cultured with resting PBMC (control samples) were seen only at the 2h time point. That is, multiple genes were transcribed in JAR cells in response to activated PBMC, but expression levels of the genes had all returned to baseline by 6h. Molecular modeling demonstrated that the differentially expressed genes were largely associated with cell growth and differentiation. This model was confirmed by noting a two-fold increase in CD10/neutral endopeptidase expression (a marker for cell differentiation) in JAR cells incubated with media from activated PBMC compared with JAR cells incubated with resting PBMC. These findings support the hypothesis that there is a delicate immunologic milieu at the maternal-fetal interface that must be maintained. Immunologic/inflammatory challenge at the maternal-fetal interface is compensated by cellular mechanisms that work to reduce inflammation and rapidly restore immunologic balance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Reproductive Medicine