Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase: distribution and function in the developing human placenta.
Kudo Y., Boyd CA., Spyropoulou I., Redman CW., Takikawa O., Katsuki T., Hara T., Ohama K., Sargent IL.
Studies in mice have suggested that the placenta is protected from immune rejection by maternal T cells by means of localised indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase dependent depletion of tryptophan. To determine whether such mechanisms might operate in the human placenta, we have studied the physiological importance of human placental indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase immunohistochemically and functionally. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase is detectable immunohistochemically from day 6 human blastocysts and thereafter throughout pregnancy in syncytiotrophoblasts, extravillous cytotrophoblasts and macrophages in the villous stroma and in the fetal membranes. Interferon-gamma added to villous explants markedly stimulates indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase protein expression in macrophages. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-mediated tryptophan degradation in the first trimester villous and decidual tissue explants is stimulated by interferon-gamma and inhibited by 1-methyl-tryptophan (an inhibitor of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase). Peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation is controlled by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-mediated tryptophan degradation. These results suggest the cellular basis of a mechanism present at the human maternal-fetal interface involved in regulating the maternal immune response to conceptus.