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Isolation and analysis of the immune cells from the decidua at term
Norway (NMSA) - University of Tromsoe, Tromsoe
Immunology research group, IMB, Department of Health Sciences
Professor Tor B.Stuge and Professor Bjørn R.Skogen
Mariana Eksteen, PhD; Heidi Tiller, MD PhD
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project with Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
Members of our group work on various aspects of fetal/neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT). FNAIT is caused by maternal antibodies against antigens on fetal/neonatal platelets. Anti-human platelet antigen (HPA)-1a antibodies are the most frequent. HPA-1a antigen is expressed by invading trophoblast cells of the placenta and, therefore, placenta can be affected in the FNAIT pregnancies. The students will be involved in the project where we study how anti-HPA-1a antibodies can affect placenta. Analysis of the immune cell populations on the fetal-maternal interface is one of the methods to identify and characterize the inflammatory processes that can affect placenta function.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to analyze immune cell populations from the fetal-maternal interface. Two different decidua sampling methods will be used and the immune cell populations compared.
What techniques and methods are used?
● Sampling of the decidua basalis and parietalis tissues from term placenta. ● Mechanical and enzymatic dissociation of cells from tissues ● Density gradient separation and counting of cells ● Staining of cells with fluorescently labelled antibodies to mark major leukocyte populations (T cells, B cells, NK cells and macrophages) and relevant subpopulations of these cells ● Collection of data on flow cytometer instrument ● Analysis of data will involve gating strategy, identification of cell populations and comparison of the populations between samples
What is the role of the student?
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Students will learn techniques of sampling the decidua tissue at term, cell dissociation from the tissue, analysis of the immune cell populations by flow cytometry. This work will be done under supervision. Through working with these techniques student will have better understanding of the placenta anatomy, immunology on the fetal-maternal interface and maternal immune tolerance during pregnancy in general. Students will have the opportunity to work independently in the laboratory with live cells and preparation of the samples for analysis. The project is laboratory, but students will have an opportunity to observe work with patients. In the end the student will prepare a presentation of his/her work to the members of the group.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Students will be receive suggested materials to read and educational videos during the course of the program.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic understanding of the human immune system and basic knowledge on the immunology of pregnancy
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students
- Immunology of the Maternal-Fetal Interface. Erlebacher A.
- Fetal and Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia. Espinoza et al.
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