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Successful bovine pregnancy requires that the maternal immune system modulate T lymphocytes. Program death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is an inhibitory protein that is associated with immune tolerance and modulation of T cells. Previous studies have linked PD-L1 to suppressing T cell activity and modulating cytokine production, therefore, inducing maternal tolerance and acceptance of the fetus. PD-L1 may be a possible mechanism involved in establishing successful bovine pregnancies. To this day, no evidence of PD-L1 RNA or protein was found in bovine placentas. We hypothesize that PD-L1 is present in the bovine placenta and its expression differs between trimesters. To analyze the presence of PD-L1, we have developed a quantitative Real-Time PCR and Western Blotting protocol to detect and characterize PD-L1 RNA and protein, respectively. For PD-L1 RNA, recombinant plasmids were used as a positive control. The cDNA was diluted at 1:4, 1:8, 1:16, 1:32, 1:64, and 1:128 to generate a standard curve. Anti PD-L1 was used as the primary antibody for Western Blot detection. It is expected that PD-L1 is present in bovine placentas and differs through gestation periods with higher expression of PD-L1 during the first trimester of gestation. In this study, PD-L1 mRNA and protein expression were observed in bovine placentas. PD-L1 is also expected to potentially modulate immune cell expression indicating that PD-L1 RNA and proteins can be used to induce a receptive maternal immune system to fetal antigens.


Utah State University

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Identification and Characterization of PD-L1 in Bovine Placentas

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