For a proper development of the placenta, maternal NK cells should not attack the fetal extravillous cytotrophoblast cells. This inhibition of maternal NK cells is partially mediated via the nonclassical MHC class I molecule HLA-G. Recently, we demonstrated that HLA-G forms disulfide-linked high molecular complexes on the surface of transfected cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that HLA-G must associate with β2m for its interaction with CD85J/leukocyte Ig-like receptor-1 (LIR-1). Although HLA-G free H chain complexes are expressed on the surface, they are not recognized and possibly interfere with CD85J/LIR-1 and HLA-G interaction. The formation of these complexes on the cell surface might represent a novel mechanism developed specifically by the HLA-G protein aimed to control the efficiency of the CD85J/LIR-1-mediated inhibition. We also show that endogenous HLA-G complexes are expressed on the cell surface. These findings provide novel insights into the delicate interaction between extravillous cytotrophoblast cells and NK cells in the decidua.