Co-culture of placental explants with isolated CD4 and CD8 T cells: a functional model to define the consequences of placental inflammation
Appropriate placental function is essential for successful pregnancy and placental dysfunction is associated with fetal growth restriction (FGR) and stillbirth. Villitis of unknown etiology (VUE) and chronic intervillositis of unknown etiology (CIUE) are immune-mediated conditions characterised by placental infiltrates of macrophages, CD4 and CD8 T cells. VUE and CIUE occur more frequently in the placentas of pregnancies complicated by FGR. The mechanisms by which this inflammation induces placental dysfunction are yet to be defined. We aimed to develop an in vitro model of placental inflammation to investigate functional consequences of immune cells in the placental environment. Fragments of placental tissue were co-cultured with CD4 and CD8 T cells isolated from whole blood. CellTrackerTM fluorescence was used to identify T cells in cultured explants. Tissue histology, endocrine and nutrient transport function was assessed using established methods. This novel preparation will enable future investigations into immune cell interactions with placenta.
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