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Biologically active tumour necrosis factor (TNF) was detected in medium conditioned by incubation with explants of human pregnancy decidua or fetal chorionic villous tissue, taken in the first trimester and at term. Addition of endotoxin increased TNF release in most cases. ELISA assays gave similar results for TNF-alpha and also demonstrated low levels of TNF-beta. Using cell populations purified by flow cytometry, secretion of biologically active TNF was shown to be localized to the macrophages. Cytotrophoblast purified from term amniochorion produced no TNF. Both decidual and chorionic villous tissue at term contained mRNA for TNF-alpha and TNF-beta. TNF-alpha mRNA was confined to decidual macrophages in first trimester tissue, and was not present in chorionic cytotrophoblast. TNF-beta mRNA, in contrast, was detected in both macrophage and non-macrophage populations in term decidua.


Journal article


Clin Exp Immunol

Publication Date





174 - 180


Decidua, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Humans, Lymphotoxin-alpha, Placenta, Pregnancy, RNA, Messenger, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha