Active suppression of host-vs-graft reaction in pregnant mice. VI. Soluble suppressor activity obtained from decidua of allopregnant mice blocks the response to IL 2. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The mammalian fetus expresses a variety of antigens against which the maternal immune system can react and which in an allogeneic mating bears paternal transplantation antigens. Although these antigens may be expressed on the fetal trophoblast cells that contact maternal uterine decidua, the "fetal allograft" is not usually rejected. Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of nonspecific non-thymus-derived suppressor cells in the lymph nodes draining the uterus and in decidua of laboratory mice undergoing first allogeneic pregnancy. These suppressor cells appeared to be small lymphocyte cells that inhibit the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in vitro and in vivo and elaborate a nonspecific non-MHC-restricted soluble suppressor activity when cultured for 48 hours at 37 degrees C in vitro. We now report that soluble suppressor activity obtained from the decidua (DS) of allopregnant C3H/HeJ mice inhibits both the primary and secondary (memory) CTL response in vitro but does not inhibit lysis of target cells by preformed CTL. DS did not suppress the proliferation of YAC lymphoma cells, P-815 cells, or a C3H placental trophoblastoma line. Suppressor activity was obtained from anti-thy-1.2 + complement-resistant cells in the decidua, could also be obtained from the decidua of allopregnant CD1 nu/nu mice, and was associated with a single peak of activity of approximately 100,000 daltons on Sephacryl 200 chromatography. Suppression could not be overcome by adding either crude or HPLC-purified IL 2 to the mixed lymphocyte cultures in vitro, and both crude and column-purified suppressor factor inhibited the IL 2-dependent proliferation of H-Y cells (a cloned T cell line with NK activity). Furthermore, DS inhibited the IL 2-dependent generation of cytotoxic effector cells in vitro in the absence of allogeneic stimulator cells. Thus, a soluble suppressor factor obtained from non-T cells present in the decidua of successfully allopregnant mice could block the response to IL 2 and inhibit the generation of both specific and nonspecific cytotoxic effector cells. The significance of this inhibition with respect to survival of the "fetal allograft" is discussed.

publication date

  • March 1985

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