Modulation of the natural killer cell activity in pregnant mice alters the spontaneous abortion rate.
ABSTRACT Effector cells associated with an aborting fetus appear to be both thymus derived (T) and natural killer (NK) cells. In order to test the hypothesis that NK cells are a major effector mediating early spontaneous abortion (less than day 8-10), CBA female mice mated by DBA/2 males were treated with either polyinosinic/cytidylic acid (poly I:C) to boost NK activity, or rabbit anti-asialo GM1 (RaASGM1) to decrease NK activity. The results of the NK assays of the spleens of treated mice confirmed that the reagents had the expected effect on NK activity and an inspection of the uteri indicated a significant increase in aborted embryos after poly I:C and a marked decrease in spontaneous abortions after RaASGM1 treatment. Therefore, spontaneous abortions may be mediated in part by the cytotoxic activity of unregulated NK cells.
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ABSTRACT: Although the intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes has an established predilection for disseminated infection during pregnancy that often results in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth, the specific host-pathogen interaction that dictates these disastrous complications remain incompletely defined. Herein, we demonstrate systemic maternal Listeria infection during pregnancy fractures fetal tolerance and triggers fetal wastage in a dose-dependent fashion. Listeria was recovered from the majority of concepti after high-dose infection illustrating the potential for in utero invasion. Interestingly with reduced inocula, fetal wastage occurred without direct placental or fetal invasion, and instead paralleled reductions in maternal Foxp3(+) regulatory T cell suppressive potency with reciprocal expansion and activation of maternal fetal-specific effector T cells. Using mutants lacking virulence determinants required for in utero invasion, we establish Listeria cytoplasmic entry is essential for disrupting fetal tolerance that triggers maternal T cell-mediated fetal resorption. Thus, infection-induced reductions in maternal Foxp3(+) regulatory T cell suppression with ensuing disruptions in fetal tolerance play critical roles in pathogenesis of immune-mediated fetal wastage.PLoS Pathogens 08/2012; 8(8):e1002873. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Infection and inflammation can disturb immune tolerance at the maternal-fetal interface, resulting in adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, the underlying mechanisms for detrimental immune responses remain ill defined. In this study, we provide evidence for immune programming of fetal loss in response to polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (polyI:C), a viral mimic and an inducer of inflammatory milieu. IL-10 and uterine NK (uNK) cells expressing the activating receptor NKG2D play a critical role in poly(I:C)-induced fetal demise. In wild type (WT) mice, poly(I:C) treatment induced expansion of NKG2D+ uNK cells and expression of Rae-1 (an NKG2D ligand) on uterine macrophages and led to fetal resorption. In IL-10-/- mice, NKG2D- T cells instead became the source of fetal resorption during the same gestation period. Interestingly, both uterine NK and T cells produced TNF-α as the key cytotoxic factor contributing to fetal loss. Treatment of WT mice with poly(I:C) resulted in excessive trophoblast migration into the decidua and increased TUNEL-positive signal. IL-10-/- mice supplemented with recombinant IL-10 induced fetal loss through NKG2D+ uNK cells, similar to the response in WT mice. Blockade of NKG2D in poly(I:C)-treated WT mice led to normal pregnancy outcome. Thus, we demonstrate that pregnancy-disrupting inflammatory events mimicked by poly(I:C) are regulated by IL-10 and depend on the effector function of uterine NKG2D+ NK cells in WT mice and NKG2D- T cells in IL-10 null mice.The Journal of Immunology 03/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This review is an example of the use of an animal model to try to understand the immune biology of pregnancy. A well-known model of recurrent spontaneous pregnancy loss is put in clinical, historical and theoretical context, with emphasis on T cell biology.Reproduction 01/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor