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Comparative studies of placentation and immunology in non-human primates suggest a scenario for the evolution of deep trophoblast invasion and an explanation for human pregnancy disorders.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21273370     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Deep trophoblast invasion in the placental bed has been considered the hallmark of human pregnancy. It occurs by two routes, interstitial and endovascular, and results in transformation of the walls of the spiral arteries as they traverse the decidua and the inner third of the myometrium. Disturbances in this process are associated with reproductive disorders such preeclampsia. In contrast, trophoblast invasion in Old World monkeys occurs only by the endovascular route and seldom reaches the myometrium. Recently it was shown that this pattern is maintained in gibbons but that the human arrangement also occurs in chimpanzee and gorilla. There is an interesting parallel with results from placental immunology regarding the evolution of the MHC class I antigen HLA-C and its cognate receptors. HLA-C is not present in Old World monkeys or gibbons, emerged in the orang-utan and became polymorphic in the lineage leading to gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee and human. Interaction between HLA-C1 and HLA-C2 on the surface of trophoblast and killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) expressed by uterine natural killer cells are important regulators of trophoblast invasion. Evolution of this system in great apes may have been one prerequisite for deep trophoblast invasion but seems to have come at a price. The evidence now suggests that certain combinations of maternal genotype for KIRs and fetal genotype for HLA-C imply an increased risk of preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction and recurrent abortion. The fetal genotype is in part derived from the father providing an explanation for the paternal contribution to reproductive disorders.
Authors:
Anthony Carter
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-1-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Reproduction (Cambridge, England)     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1741-7899     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-1-28     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100966036     Medline TA:  Reproduction     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
A Carter, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
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