Fgl2 prothrombinase expression in mouse trophoblast and decidua triggers abortion but may be countered by OX-2
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Spontaneous abortion of normal karyotype embryos in mice and in humans is associated with an increase in uterine T helper (Th) 1 type proinflammatory cytokines, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interferon-gamma and interleukin (IL)-1, and a deficiency of Th2/3 type cytokines, IL-4, IL-10, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta2. In mice, Th1 cytokines up-regulate a novel prothrombinase, fgl2, which via thrombin, leads to activation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes that terminate the pregnancy. Here we show that Th1 cytokines up-regulate fgl2 mRNA in fetal trophoblast and secondary decidua of CBA/JxDBA/2 and CBA/JxBALB/c matings, and promote fibrin deposition. This pattern is accompanied by a high rate of abortion. However, the spontaneous abortion rates in abortion-prone CBAxDBA/2 matings and in low abortion rate CBAxBALB/c matings were significantly lower than that expected from the frequency of implantations with high levels of fibrin and fgl2 mRNA(hi). As the glycoprotein OX-2 occurs in the pregnant rat uterus and can deviate cytokine responses to Th2/3, we investigated OX-2 in pregnant CBA/J mice. We found OX-2 mRNA was present at the same sites as fgl2 mRNA, but was reduced in response to Th1 cytokines. Furthermore, anti-OX-2 raised the abortion rate to predicted levels, while recombinant OX-2 dramatically reduced the abortion rate. Fgl2 prothrombinase may provide a mechanism explaining pregnancy loss, and conversely, successful pregnancy may be due in part to OX-2-dependent activation of maternal tolerance mechanisms at the feto-maternal interface.
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