bims-reprim Biomed News
on Reproductive immunology
Issue of 2021‒05‒09
three papers selected by
Iva Filipovic
Karolinska Institutet

  1. Mucosal Immunol. 2021 May 05.
      Memory CD4 T cells in tissues fulfill numerous functions that are critical for local immune homeostasis and protection against pathogens. Previous studies have highlighted the phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of circulating and tissue-resident memory CD4 T cells across different human tissues such as skin, lung, liver, and colon. Comparatively little is known in regard to memory CD4 T cells across tissues of the female reproductive tract (FRT). We examined CD4 T cells in donor-matched vaginal, ecto- and endocervical tissues, which differ in mucosal structure and exposure to external environmental stimuli. We hypothesized that this could be reflected by tissue-specific differences in the memory CD4 T cell compartment. We found differences in CD4 subset distribution across these tissues. Specifically, CD69+CD103+ CD4 T cells were significantly more abundant in vaginal than cervical tissues. In contrast, the transcriptional profiles of CD4 subsets were fairly conserved across FRT tissues. CD69+CD103+ CD4 T cells showed a TH17 bias independent of tissue niche. Our data suggest that FRT tissues affect T cell subset distribution but have limited effects on the transcriptome of each subset. We discuss the implications for barrier immunity in the FRT.
  2. Sci Transl Med. 2021 May 05. pii: eabd9898. [Epub ahead of print]13(592):
      Estimating the time of delivery is of high clinical importance because pre- and postterm deviations are associated with complications for the mother and her offspring. However, current estimations are inaccurate. As pregnancy progresses toward labor, major transitions occur in fetomaternal immune, metabolic, and endocrine systems that culminate in birth. The comprehensive characterization of maternal biology that precedes labor is key to understanding these physiological transitions and identifying predictive biomarkers of delivery. Here, a longitudinal study was conducted in 63 women who went into labor spontaneously. More than 7000 plasma analytes and peripheral immune cell responses were analyzed using untargeted mass spectrometry, aptamer-based proteomic technology, and single-cell mass cytometry in serial blood samples collected during the last 100 days of pregnancy. The high-dimensional dataset was integrated into a multiomic model that predicted the time to spontaneous labor [R = 0.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.79 to 0.89], P = 1.2 × 10-40, N = 53, training set; R = 0.81, 95% CI [0.61 to 0.91], P = 3.9 × 10-7, N = 10, independent test set]. Coordinated alterations in maternal metabolome, proteome, and immunome marked a molecular shift from pregnancy maintenance to prelabor biology 2 to 4 weeks before delivery. A surge in steroid hormone metabolites and interleukin-1 receptor type 4 that preceded labor coincided with a switch from immune activation to regulation of inflammatory responses. Our study lays the groundwork for developing blood-based methods for predicting the day of labor, anchored in mechanisms shared in preterm and term pregnancies.
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 30. pii: 4786. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      Chronic intervillositis of unknown etiology (CIUE) is a rare, poorly understood, histopathological diagnosis of the placenta that is frequently accompanied by adverse pregnancy outcomes including miscarriage, fetal growth restriction, and intrauterine fetal death. CIUE is thought to have an immunologically driven pathophysiology and may be related to human leukocyte antigen mismatches between the mother and the fetus. Dizygotic twins with one-sided CIUE provide an interesting context to study the influence of immunogenetic differences in such cases. The main immune-cell subsets were investigated using immunohistochemistry. We identified three dizygotic twin pregnancies in which CIUE was present in only one of the two placentas. Two of the pregnancies ended in term delivery and one ended in preterm delivery. Presence of CIUE was correlated with lower placental weight and lower birthweight. Relative number of CD68, CD56, CD20, and CD3 positive cells were comparable between co-twins. The presence of one-sided CIUE in dizygotic twin pregnancy was associated with selective growth restriction in the affected twin. This suggests a unique fetal immunogenetic contribution to the pathogenesis of CIUE. Further study of dizygotic and monozygotic placentas affected by CIUE could identify new insights into its pathophysiology and into the field of reproductive immunology.
    Keywords:  chronic intervillositis of unknown etiology; placenta; twin