Interaction between HLA-G and monocyte/macrophages in human pregnancy

J Reprod Immunol. 2010 May;85(1):40-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 Mar 30.


Several lines of evidence suggest that the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G play a key role in the regulation of human pregnancy. A sub-population of cells highly represented at the decidua belong to the myeloid-derived monocyte/macrophage lineage, which potentially interact with HLA-G expressing cells. It is proposed that HLA-G protects decidual trophoblasts from lysis by blocking the effector function of decidual monocyte/macrophages. The interaction between HLA-G and monocyte/macrophages may therefore contribute to a successful pregnancy. Here we examine existing knowledge on the convergent role of HLA-G and monocyte/macrophages in pregnancy and define the synergy that exists between these two elements in the decidua. Key features of the HLA-G gene product are discussed followed by the main characteristics of decidual monocyte/macrophages. A hypothetical model for the interaction between HLA-G and monocyte/macrophage cells at the fetal-maternal interface is proposed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • HLA Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA-G Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • Placental Circulation / immunology
  • Pregnancy / immunology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / immunology


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-G Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I