HLA and KIR molecules play an important role in the immunology of pregnancy, particularly in the development of maternal tolerance, the attachment of the embryo to the uterine wall, and the development of the placenta.
Repeatedly failed fertility treatments have shown that certain HLA/KIR combinations predispose to problems during pregnancy and may relate to infertility. By determining the KIR haplotypes and HLA-C, possible immunological incompatibility can be assessed.
Paternal HLA antigens may result in the formation of anti-paternal leukocyte antibodies during pregnancy and may predispose to pregnancy complications. The development of leukocyte antibodies is common during pregnancy, but their prevalence and amount have been found to be greater in recurrent miscarriages. By means of leukocyte antibody determination and HLA antigen assays, we can assess whether the leukocyte antibodies detected are anti-paternal and thus connected with miscarriages.