American Journal of Immunology

How Micrornas Affect the Expression of Human Leukocyte Antigeng in Pregnancy

Ayla Carmel Kempers, Marie Van Dijk and Cees Oudejans

DOI : 10.3844/ajisp.2012.136.145

American Journal of Immunology

Volume 8, Issue 4

Pages 136-145


The expression of Human Leukocyte Antigen G (HLA-G) on Fetal Extravillous Trophoblast (EVT) cells during pregnancy plays an important role in preventing the fetus from rejection by suppressing the maternal immune system. Decreased expression levels of HLA-G have already shown to be associated with several complications of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia. However, it remains largely unknown how HLA-G gene expression is regulated with regard to its function and its complications. Polymorphisms and microRNAs affect HLA-G gene expression and the formation of isoforms. Interestingly, three microRNAs, miR-148a, miR-148b and miR-152, downregulate HLA-G expression with functional consequences. Since HLA-G expression levels are reduced in pre-eclampsia without a known cause, we hypothesize that these microRNAs are involved in the development of pre-eclampsia. This review discusses how microRNAs can affect HLA-G gene expression and its functions. Additionally, the role of microRNAs in the development of pre-eclampsia will be reviewed.


© 2012 Ayla Carmel Kempers, Marie Van Dijk and Cees Oudejans. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.