The Unique Properties of Human NK Cells in the Uterine Mucosa

I. Manaster, O. Mandelboim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system that are able to kill hazardous pathogens and tumours. It was recently recognized that NK cells also possess non-destructive functions. NK cells were shown to interact with T, B, DC cells and macrophages and consequently shape the adaptive immune response. In addition, activated NK cells were shown to be quite efficient antigen-presenting cells. Here we review the unique properties of human NK cells in the uterine mucosa prior to and during pregnancy. We discuss the role of decidual NK cells and suggest that their major function is to assist in fetal development. Further we discuss the function and origin of endometrial NK cells and define some questions that need to be addressed in future research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalPlacenta
Volume29
Issue numberSUPPL.
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, the European consortium LSHC-CT-2005-518178, the European consortium MRTN-CT-2005, the ICRF and the BSF. We would like to thank our long term collaborators Prof. Simcha Yagel, Dr. Debra Goldman-Wohl and their colleagues for the ideas and the joint work.

Keywords

  • Decidua
  • NK receptors
  • dNK
  • eNK

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