Human trophoblast-lymphocyte cross-reactive (TLX) antigens define a new alloantigen system

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Science  09 Dec 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4628, pp. 1135-1137
DOI: 10.1126/science.6648525


Antisera to human syncytiotrophoblast microvillous cell surface membranes from different placentas are cytotoxic for lymphocytes from some people but not others, demonstrating the presence of allotypic trophoblast-lymphocyte cross-reactive (TLX) antigens. Exploratory principal components factor analysis, performed on limited data consisting of 300 cytotoxic reactions produced by ten separate trophoblast antisera on a panel of lymphocytes from 30 random donors, suggested the presence of three distinct TLX antigen groupings. It is proposed that such TLX alloantigens are central in establishing maternal recognition and protection of the blastocyst, and that lack of recognition results in implantation failure and spontaneous abortion. These findings are compatible with contemporary results of immunotherapy to prevent recurrent spontaneous abortions, and their implications extend to other conditions of allogeneic coexistence, such as organ transplantation and the tumor-host relationship.

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