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Membrane-bound and water-soluble nonclassical class I MHC antigens on rat placenta

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We have used mouse monoclonal antibodies to different determinants on rat class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antgiens in order to identify water-soluble and membrane-bound nonclassical (i.e., non-RT1.A) class I MHC antigens on the spongiotrophoblast and labyrinthine trophoblast of rat placenta. Initial immunohistological studies with monoclonal antibodies reacting with determinant restricted to classical (RT1.A) rat class I antigens confirmed the presence of these antigens on spongiothrophoblast, but not on labyrinthine trphoblast. Staining with another monoclonal antibody, which reacts with both classical and at least some nonclassical rat class I antigens, gave strong staining of both the labyrinthine and spongiotrophoblast. To distinguish membrane-bound from water-soluble class I molecules, quantitative adsorption analyses were carried out using both placental cell membranes and ultracentrifuged aqueous extracts of placenta. The aqueous placental extract had no absorptive capacity for the RT1.A-specific antibodies, but it had very strong absorptive capacity for the more broadly reactive antibody. This strongly suggests the presence of large quantities of a soluble nonclassical class I MHC antigen in rat placenta. The placental cell membranes had four to fivefold greater absorptive capacity for the broadly reactive antibody when compared to the antibodies to classical class I antigens, a result that was consistent with the presence of membrane-bound non-classical class I antigens on rat placenta. The membrane-bound nonclassical class I antigen was purified from detergent extracts of DA rat placental membranes using monoclonal antibody affinity and lentil lectin affinity chromatography. The putative nonclassical class I antigen had a heavy chain of M r 43 000, which is 2000 smaller than the amino acid sequence analysis demonstrated that the nonclassical placental antigen differed at three amino acid residues from the classical RT1.A class I molecule and also from the Q10-like class I molecule of the DA strain. It differed also from the pAR 1.5 cDNA sequence, the only full-length rat class I DNA sequence available so far.

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Fowler, V.J., Rosemarie Dalchu, S. & Fabre, J.W. Membrane-bound and water-soluble nonclassical class I MHC antigens on rat placenta. Immunogenetics 31, 152–160 (1990).

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  • Absorptive Capacity
  • Amino Acid Sequence Analysis
  • Classical Class
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex Antigen
  • Detergent Extract