Concordant expression of tissue factor and class II MHC antigens in human placental endothelium

Placenta. 1990 Jul-Aug;11(4):309-18. doi: 10.1016/s0143-4004(05)80222-x.


Villitis of unestablished etiology is a placental lesion frequently associated with high risk pregnancies: it is also found in placentae from normal term pregnancies. The etiology of the lesion is unknown. Vasculitis and thrombosis have been described in villitis areas of placentae from normal and high risk pregnancies. We asked if fetal stem vessel endothelium in villitis lesions expresses MHC class II antigens, and if this is associated with a thrombogenic activity of these vessels. We found that endothelium of fetal stem vessels in villitis areas was usually MHC class II (HLA-DR, DP and DQ) reactive. Reactivity of fetal stem vessel endothelium for MHC class II antigens was associated with the presence of tissue factor reactivity and the absence of thrombomodulin reactivity. These changes on endothelial plasma membranes can promote intravascular coagulation, ischemic necrosis, vasculitis and other histological changes characteristic of villitis.

MeSH terms

  • Chorionic Villi / immunology
  • Chorionic Villi / metabolism*
  • Endothelium / immunology
  • Endothelium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • HLA-D Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placenta Diseases / immunology
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Thrombin
  • Thromboplastin / biosynthesis*
  • von Willebrand Factor / biosynthesis


  • HLA-D Antigens
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Thrombin
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Thromboplastin