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The interleukin 1 (IL-1) system in the uteroplacental complex of a cartilaginous fish, the smoothhound shark, Mustelus canis

Author(s): Cateni Chiara | Paulesu Luana | Bigliardi Elisa | Hamlett William

Journal: Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
ISSN 1477-7827

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: cytokines | placenta | fish | immunohistochemistry | comparative study

Abstract Cartilaginous fish are the oldest extant jawed vertebrates and the oldest line to have placentae. Their pivotal evolutionary position makes them attractive models to investigate the mechanisms involved in the maternal-fetal interaction. This study describes the tissue expression of the cytokine interlukin-1 (IL-1) α, IL-1 β and its specific membrane receptor, IL-1 receptor type I (IL-1R tI) in a placental cartilaginous fish, the smoothhound shark, Mustelus canis. The presence of this cytokine has been reported in many mammalian placentae, as well as in the placenta of a squamate reptile and this study extends these observations to the cartilaginous fishes. The uteroplacental complex in M. canis consists of a yolk sac modified into a functional yolk sac placenta and complimentary uterine attachment sites. Immunohistochemistry for IL-1 α, IL-1 β and the receptor reveals leucocytes of both the mother and fetus to be positive, as well as the apical aspect of paraplacental cells and the apical vesicles in the umbilical cord epithelium. Yolk sac endoderm is also positive with all the stains while the ectoderm is positive only for IL-1 α. Immunoreactivity in the uterine epithelium was obtained for IL-1 α and the receptor. The egg envelope is always negative. In light of the recent finding of IL-1 β gene in a cartilaginous fish and of the high level of conservation of proteins implicated in IL-1 action, our data suggest that IL-1 system is a key mediator of the materno-fetal interaction since the oldest extant placental vertebrates.
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