HLA-G antigen and parturition: Maternal serum, fetal serum and amniotic fluid levels during pregnancy

Rinat Hackmon, Mordechai Hallak*, Margalit Krup, Dahlia Weitzman, Eyal Sheiner, Boris Kaplan, Yacob Weinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine whether soluble HLA-G1 (sHLA-G1) concentrations in maternal serum and in amniotic fluid are lower at term than in the second trimester. Methods: In this prospective study amniotic fluid and maternal serum samples were aspirated from 21 pregnant women during genetic amniocentesis at 16-20 weeks' gestation, and from 19 women undergoing a cesarean section at term. In the latter group arterial umbilical cord blood was aspirated as well. sHLA-G1 levels were determined using ELISA assay. This assay included the anti-HLA-G monoclonal antibodies 87G and 16G1, both as capture antibodies and horseradish-peroxidase-labeled rabbit anti-human β2- microglobulin antibodies, as the detection antibody. The relative concentrations of sHLA-G1 were measured from the absorbancy of the blue product at 650 nm. Student's t test was used for statistical analysis. Results: sHLA-G1 levels in amniotic fluid were significantly lower at term than in the second trimester (0.160 ± 0.05 vs. 0.272 ± 0.150 OD units; p < 0.05). Levels of sHLA-G1 in maternal serum declined toward term, but the difference from the second trimester was not statistically significant (0.266 ± 0.157 vs. 0.205 ± 0.120 OD units; p = 0.193). There was a strong correlation of sHLA-G1 concentrations between cord serum and maternal serum (R2 = 0.79; p < 0.001), but not between cord serum and amniotic fluid (R 2 = 0.00004) or amniotic fluid and maternal serum (R2 = 0.02). Conclusions: sHLA-G1 antigen expression is higher in amniotic fluid than in maternal-fetal compartments and significantly decreases toward term. We speculate that the declining amniotic fluid sHLA-G1 levels may stimulate a maternal immunological response against the fetus and contribute to the initiation of parturition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-409
Number of pages6
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • HLA-G, soluble
  • Inflammatory cascade
  • Parturition


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