HLA-G Expression in Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Preimplantation Embryos.

An Verloes, Hilde Van De Velde, J Lemaoult, Ileana Mateizel, Greet Cauffman, Peter A. Horn, Edgardo D. Carosella, Paul Devroey, Marc De Waele, V. Rebmann, Martine Vercammen

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Human leukocyte Ag-G, a tolerogenic molecule that acts on cells of both innate and adaptive immunity, plays an important role in tumor progression, transplantation, placentation, as well as the protection of the allogeneic fetus from the maternal immune system.
We investigated HLA-G mRNA and protein expression in human embryonic stem cells (hESC) derived from the inner cell mass (ICM) of blastocysts. hESC self-renew indefinitely in culture while maintaining pluripotency, providing an unlimited source of cells for therapy. HLA-G mRNAwas present in early and late passage hESC, as assessed by real time RT-PCR. Protein expression was demonstrated by flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry, and ELISA on an hESC extract. Binding of HLA-G with its ILT2 receptor demonstrated the functional active status. To verify this finding in a physiologically relevant setting, HLA-G protein expression was investigated during preimplantation development.We demonstrated HLA-G protein expression in oocytes, cleavage stage embryos, and blastocysts, where we find it in trophectoderms but also in ICM cells. During blastocyst development, a downregulation of HLAG in the ICM cells was present. This data might be important for cell therapy and transplantation because undifferentiated hESC can contaminate the transplant of differentiated stem cells and develop into malignant cancer cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2663-2671
JournalJ Immunol
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2011


  • human embryonic stem cells
  • IVF
  • HLA-G


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