The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 54: 431 - 443 (2010)

Vol 54, Issue 2-3

Special Issue: Placenta

On the role of placental major histocompatibility complex and decidual leukocytes in implantation and pregnancy success using non-human primate models

Review | Published: 2 October 2009

Thaddeus G. Golos*,1,2,3, Gennadiy I. Bondarenko3, Svetlana V. Dambaeva1,3, Edith E. Breburda3, and Maureen Durning3

1Departments of Comparative Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, 2Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine and Public Health and 3Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI,USA


While there is broad agreement that interactions of the human maternal immune system with the tissues and cells of the implanting embryo are likely to be critical contributors to pregnancy success, there remains a dearth of information which directly confirms this expectation. Although animal models of reproductive function often provide opportunities for confirming such hypotheses, progress in this area has been sporadic due to limitations of traditional laboratory or agricultural animal models, such as rodents, sheep, pigs and cattle. Many of these limitations derive from divergent modes of implantation and placentation across mammalian species. Over the past decade there has been progress in the development of the nonhuman primate as a model in which to address questions of pregnancy success in the area of immunology. The purpose of this review is to compare available model species, summarize current knowledge and recent progress with an emphasis on experimental in vivo manipulations, and suggest areas available for additional study and growth.


placenta, HLA-G, NK cell, decidua

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