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Wynne F, Ball M, McLellan AS, Dockery P, Zimmermann W, Moore T;
Mouse pregnancy-specific glycoproteins: tissue-specific expression and evidence of association with maternal vasculature.
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The pregnancy-specific glycoproteins (Psg) are secreted hormones encoded by multiple genes in rodents and primates, and are thought to act as immune modulators. The only Psg receptor identified is CD9, through which Psg17 induces cytokine production from macrophages cultured in vitro. We examined temporal and spatial aspects of Psg and CD9 expression during mouse pregnancy to determine whether their expression patterns support a role in immune modulation. Using in situ hybridisation, immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR we found Psg expression in trophoblast giant cells and in the spongiotrophoblast. Psg22 is the predominant Psg family member expressed in giant cells. Detectable Psg is associated predominantly with endothelial cells lining vascular channels in the decidua, rather than with maternal immune cell markers. CD9 expression exhibited partial overlap with Psg, but without exclusive co-localisation. CD9 was observed in decidual cells surrounding early implantation sites, and in the endometrium. However, embryo transfer of wild-type embryos to CD9-deficient females indicates that maternal CD9 is not essential for successful pregnancy.
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