Modulation of natural killer cell activity in pregnant mice alters the spontaneous abortion rate

Journal of Reproductive Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.82). 07/1987; 11(2):147-53. DOI: 10.1016/0165-0378(87)90018-0
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Mouse uNK cells, which are analogous to decidual CD16 − CD56 bright NK cells, have recently been demonstrated to be critical in maternal decidual artery remodeling via their production of IFN-γ (Bilinski et al. 2008). Conversely, uNK cells have also been implicated in mouse models of pregnancy loss (Chaouat 1994; de Fougerolles and Baines 1987; Erlebacher et al. 2004; Murphy et al. 2005). With this in mind, it is interesting that NKT cell activation via αGalCer is known to result in spleen NK cell activation (Carnaud et al. 1999; Eberl and MacDonald 2000), a process known as " transactivation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Establishment of the maternal-fetal interface is characterized by the influx of maternal NK cells, macrophages, and T cells into the decidua. Although a great deal has been learned about the function of NK cells in the decidua, comparatively little is known of decidual T cell function. NKT cells are an unusual T cell subset capable of producing both Th1-like and Th2-like cytokines. Unlike conventional alphabeta T cells that recognize peptides in the context of MHC molecules, NKT cells recognize glycolipids presented by the MHC class I-like molecule, CD1d. Recent reports have demonstrated that NKT cells and CD1d are present at the maternal-fetal interface. Moreover, activation of NKT cells can have dramatic effects on pregnancy. In this article, we will review basic aspects of NKT cell biology and summarize the recent literature on NKT cells at the maternal-fetal interface.
    Immunological Investigations 02/2008; 37(5):565-82. DOI:10.1080/08820130802191409 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    • "Studies in the munne CBA/JXDBA/2 model have suggested that natural killer (NK) cells may play a key role in pregnancy loss Blocking of the NK cells with anti-asialo GM1 and the enhancement of NK cell activity with polyinnosinic/cytidilic acid resulted in reduced and increased rates of pregnancy loss respectively (De Fougerolles and Baines, 1987); the implantation site of resorbing pregnancies was infiltrated by asialo-GMl-positive cells (Gendron and Baines, 1988); and deficiency of the local suppression of NK cell activity appeared to be an important factor in pregnancy resorption (Gendron et al., 1990). An unusual population of granulated lymphocytes, the endometrial granulated lymphocytes (eGL), form the predominant stromal leukocyte population in normal first trimester decidua. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite increasing knowledge about the cell populations that exist in the decidualized endometrium in normal early human pregnancy, little is known about the decidual leukocyte populations in women suffering spontaneous early pregnancy loss. Decidual leukocytes were investigated in 40 cases of spontaneous abortion using a panel of monoclonal antibodies specific for leukocytes, macrophages, T cells, B cells and 'classic' CD57(+) natural killer (NK) cells and an avidin-biotin peroxidase immunohistochemical technique. Endometrial granulated lymphocytes (eGL), the predominant decidual leukocyte population in the first trimester of normal human pregnancy, were demonstrated with the phloxine-tartrazine stain. There were significantly fewer leukocytes in decidua in spontaneous abortion, but the numbers of eGL, macrophages and T cells did not differ significantly between normal and pathological pregnancies. eGL and macrophages accounted for a greater proportion of the decidual leukocyte population in spontaneous abortion. Of the 40 spontaneous abortion cases, 20 had significantly increased numbers of 'classic' CD57(+) NK cells when compared with normal human pregnancy. A proportion of spontaneous abortions may occur because of increased 'classic' CD57(+) NK cell numbers in the decidua, which could become activated by local cytokines to attack the trophoblast.
    Human Reproduction 08/1996; 11(7):1569-74. DOI:10.1093/oxfordjournals.humrep.a019439 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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