Peggy Petroff, PhD

Associate Professor

Our research area has been focused on the cross-talk between the reproductive and immune systems, and specifically on the immunological functions of the placenta. Because both maternal and paternal genes contribute to the genetic makeup of the fetus, the fetus can be considered "foreign" in terms of the mother's immune system. However, the fetally-derived placenta mediates the escape of the fetus from the maternal immune system through several mechanisms, such as by acting as a physical barrier, by being immunologically inert, and by actively suppressing the maternal immune system. Our goal is to contribute to the understanding of how the placenta actively mediates escape of the allogeneic fetus from rejection by the maternal immune system through expression of immunosuppressive cell-associated and soluble molecules. An understanding of this mechanism will provide much insight not only into the control of fertility, but also into the pathological situations of cancer, autoimmune disease, and allograft rejection.

Recent Publications


  1. Petroff M.G., Coggeshall K.M., Jones L.S., Pate J.L. (1997) Bovine luteal cells elicit major histocompatibility class II-dependent T cell proliferation. Biol. Reprod. 57: 887-893.
  2. Petroff M.G., Petroff B.K., Pate J.L. Expression of cytokine messenger ribonucleic acids in the bovine corpus luteum. Endocrinology 1999; 140: 1018-1021.
  3. Bove S.E., Petroff M.G., Nishibori M., Pate J.L. (2000) Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in the bovine corpus luteum: characterization of steady-state messenger ribonucleic acid expression and immunohistochemical localization. Biol. Reprod. 62: 879-885.
  4. Petroff M.G., Petroff B.K., Pate J.L. (2001) Mechanisms of cytokine-induced death of cultured bovine luteal cells. Reproduction 121:753-760.
  5. Petroff M.G., Phillips T.A., Hunt J.S. (2002) B7 family molecules: novel immunomodulators at the maternal-fetal interface. Placenta Suppl A:S95-S101.
  6. Petroff M.G., Sedlmayr P., Azzola D., Hunt J.S. (2002) Decidual macrophages are potentially susceptible to inhibition by class Ia and class Ib HLA Molecules. J. Reprod. Immunol.56:3-17.
  7. Petroff M.G., Chen L., Philips T.A., Sedlmayr P., Hunt J.S. (2003) B7 family molecules are favorably positioned at the human maternal-fetal interface. Biol. Reprod. 68:1496-1504.
  8. Cannon M.J., Petroff M.G., Pate J.L. Effects of prostaglandin F2a and progesterone on the ability of bovine luteal cells to stimulate T lymphocyte proliferation. (2003) Biol. Reprod. 69:695-700.
  9. Holtz R., Choi J., Petroff M.G., Piskurich J., Murphy S.P. (2003) CIITA promoter methylation does not correlate with silencing of CIITA transcription in tropohblasts. Biol. Reprod. 69:915-924.
  10. McIntire R.H., Morales P.J., Petroff M.G., Colonna M., Hunt J.S. (2004) Recombinant HLA-G5 and HLA-G6 drive U937 myelomonocytic cell production of TGF-β1. J. Leukoc. Biol. 76:1220-1228.
  11. Petroff M.G., Kharatyan E., Torry D.S., Holets L. (2005) The immunomodulatory proteins B7-DC, B7-H2, and B7-H3 are differentially expressed across gestation in the human placenta. Am. J. Pathol. 167:465-473.
  12. Holets, L., Hunt, J.S., Petroff, M.G. (2006) Trophoblast B7-H1 is differentially expressed across gestation: influence of oxygen concentration. Biol. Reprod. 74:352-358.

Book chapters and invited reviews

  1. Hunt J.S., Petroff M.G., Morales P., Sedlmayr P., Geraghty D.E., Ober C. HLA-G in reproduction: studies on the maternal-fetal interface. Human Immunol. 2000; 61:1113-1117.
  2. Hunt J.S., Petroff M.G., Burnett T.G. Uteroplacental leukocytes: key players in pregnancy. Sem. Cell Dev. Biol. 2000; 11:127-137.
  3. Hunt J.S., Petroff M.G. Placental immunology. In: Encyclopedia of Hormones. H.L. H and A. W. Norman, Eds. Academic Press, NY. 2003; Vol. 3:224-231.
  4. Petroff M.G., Hunt J.S. Immunity at the maternal-fetal interface. In: Mucosal Immunology, Third Ed. J. Mestechy, J. Bienenstock, M.E. Lamm, L. Mayer, J.R. McGhee, W. Strober, Eds. Elsevier, San Diego, CA. Ch. 101. 2005.
  5. Hunt J.S., Petroff M.G., McIntire R., Ober C. HLA-G and Immune Tolerance in Pregnancy. FASEB J.2005; 19:681-693.
  6. McIntire RH, Petroff MG, Phillips TA, Hunt JS. In vitro models for studying human uterine and placental macrophages. In: Placental and Trophoblast Methods and Protocols. Methods Mol. Med. 2006; 121:123-148.
  7. Petroff M.G., Ka H., Phillips T.A., Pace J.L., Hunt J.S. Purification and culture of human trophoblast cells. In: Placental and Trophoblast Methods and Protocols. Methods Mol. Med. 2006; 121:201-216.
  8. Petroff, M.G. (2006) Immune interactions at the maternal-fetal interface. J. Reprod. Immunol. 68:1-13.
  9. Hunt J.S., McIntire R.H., Petroff M.G. Immunobiology of Human Pregnancy. In: Encyclopedia of Reproduction, E. Knobil, J.D. Neill, Eds. In Press.
  10. Petroff M.G. B7 family molecules in the placenta. In: Immunology of Implantation, G. Mor, Ed. Springer-Verlag, NY. In Press.


  1. "Alterations of Proinflammatory Genes in Preeclampsia". Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institution.
  2. "Immunomodulatory B7 Family Proteins in the Placenta". NICHD.

Petroff lab
Left to right: Elizabeth Taglauer (MD/PhD student), Dr. Peggy Petroff, Ph.D.,
Elza Kharatyan (Research Assistant)

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Peggy Petroff


Peggy Petroff, PhD
Associate Professor