Infections at the maternal-fetal interface can directly harm the fetus and induce complications that adversely impact pregnancy outcomes. Innate immune signaling by both fetal-derived placental trophoblasts and the maternal decidua must provide antimicrobial defenses at this critical interface without compromising its integrity. Here, we developed matched trophoblast and decidua organoids from human placentas to define the relative contributions of these cells to antiviral defenses at the maternal-fetal interface. We demonstrate that trophoblast and decidua organoids basally secrete distinct immunomodulatory factors, including the constitutive release of the antiviral type III interferon IFN-λ2 from trophoblast organoids, and differentially respond to viral infections through the induction of organoid-specific factors. Lastly, we define the differential susceptibility and innate immune signaling of trophoblast and decidua organoids to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and develop a co-culture model of trophoblast and decidua organoids which showed that trophoblast-derived factors protect decidual cells from HCMV infection. Our findings establish matched trophoblast and decidua organoids as ex vivo models to study vertically transmitted infections and highlight differences in innate immune signaling by fetal-derived trophoblasts and the maternal decidua.
Sequence data have been deposited into Sequence Read Archives SUB11885513.
- Carolyn B Coyne
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Jan E Carette, Stanford University School of Medicine, United States
© 2022, Yang et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
African trypanosomes evade host immune clearance by antigenic variation, causing persistent infections in humans and animals. These parasites express a homogeneous surface coat of variant surface glycoproteins (VSGs). They transcribe one out of hundreds of VSG genes at a time from telomeric expression sites (ESs) and periodically change the VSG expressed by transcriptional switching or recombination. The mechanisms underlying the control of VSG switching and its developmental silencing remain elusive. We report that telomeric ES activation and silencing entail an on/off genetic switch controlled by a nuclear phosphoinositide signaling system. This system includes a nuclear phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphatase (PIP5Pase), its substrate PI(3,4,5)P3, and the repressor-activator protein 1 (RAP1). RAP1 binds to ES sequences flanking VSG genes via its DNA binding domains and represses VSG transcription. In contrast, PI(3,4,5)P3 binds to the N-terminus of RAP1 and controls its DNA binding activity. Transient inactivation of PIP5Pase results in the accumulation of nuclear PI(3,4,5)P3, which binds RAP1 and displaces it from ESs, activating transcription of silent ESs and VSG switching. The system is also required for the developmental silencing of VSG genes. The data provides a mechanism controlling reversible telomere silencing essential for the periodic switching in VSG expression and its developmental regulation.
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