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NK cells and trophoblasts: partners in pregnancy.

Parham P - J. Exp. Med. (2004)

Bottom Line: Elements of immunity were incorporated, giving pregnancy a mildly inflammatory character.Formation of the placenta, the organ that feeds the fetus, involves a cooperation between maternal natural killer (NK) cells and fetal trophoblast cells that remodels the blood supply.Recent research reveals that this process and human reproductive success are influenced by polymorphic HLA-C ligands and their killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5126, USA. peropa@stanford.edu.

ABSTRACT
In placental mammals, viviparity--the production of living young within the mother's body--evolved under the auspices of the immune system. Elements of immunity were incorporated, giving pregnancy a mildly inflammatory character. Formation of the placenta, the organ that feeds the fetus, involves a cooperation between maternal natural killer (NK) cells and fetal trophoblast cells that remodels the blood supply. Recent research reveals that this process and human reproductive success are influenced by polymorphic HLA-C ligands and their killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR).

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In pregnancy, the spiral arteries are remodeled by extravillous trophoblast cells and NK cells. The left panel shows the nonpregnant endometrium in the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle just before menstruation. The right panel shows the endometrium in the second half of normal pregnancy when the spiral arteries are remodeled to a depth that penetrates the myometrium. The middle panel shows the situation in preeclampsia where the extent and depth of remodeling is less than in normal pregnancy. These vascular changes are effected by extravillous trophoblast cells (EVT) with the help of activated NK cells. In the process, the enlarged vessels become lined with endovascular trophoblast cells (ENVT) (10).
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fig1: In pregnancy, the spiral arteries are remodeled by extravillous trophoblast cells and NK cells. The left panel shows the nonpregnant endometrium in the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle just before menstruation. The right panel shows the endometrium in the second half of normal pregnancy when the spiral arteries are remodeled to a depth that penetrates the myometrium. The middle panel shows the situation in preeclampsia where the extent and depth of remodeling is less than in normal pregnancy. These vascular changes are effected by extravillous trophoblast cells (EVT) with the help of activated NK cells. In the process, the enlarged vessels become lined with endovascular trophoblast cells (ENVT) (10).

Mentions: Upon implantation of an embryo, the menstrual cycle is broken and pregnancy commences. The implanted embryo, the blastocyst, comprises an inner cell mass, which develops into the fetus, and an outer trophoblast layer that forms the placenta. By tapping into the maternal circulation, the placenta serves the fetus with food procured from the mother's blood. Obtaining adequate blood supply necessitates some remodeling of blood vessels in the outer endometrium, which in the process becomes a much changed tissue called the decidua. The work involves an expanded and activated population of maternal NK cells in the decidua and extravillous trophoblast cells. The latter are directed to move into the decidua, where they strip off the muscular wall of the spiral arteries and supplant the endothelial cells that line these vessels (Fig. 1) (10).


NK cells and trophoblasts: partners in pregnancy.

Parham P - J. Exp. Med. (2004)

In pregnancy, the spiral arteries are remodeled by extravillous trophoblast cells and NK cells. The left panel shows the nonpregnant endometrium in the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle just before menstruation. The right panel shows the endometrium in the second half of normal pregnancy when the spiral arteries are remodeled to a depth that penetrates the myometrium. The middle panel shows the situation in preeclampsia where the extent and depth of remodeling is less than in normal pregnancy. These vascular changes are effected by extravillous trophoblast cells (EVT) with the help of activated NK cells. In the process, the enlarged vessels become lined with endovascular trophoblast cells (ENVT) (10).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2211836&req=5

fig1: In pregnancy, the spiral arteries are remodeled by extravillous trophoblast cells and NK cells. The left panel shows the nonpregnant endometrium in the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle just before menstruation. The right panel shows the endometrium in the second half of normal pregnancy when the spiral arteries are remodeled to a depth that penetrates the myometrium. The middle panel shows the situation in preeclampsia where the extent and depth of remodeling is less than in normal pregnancy. These vascular changes are effected by extravillous trophoblast cells (EVT) with the help of activated NK cells. In the process, the enlarged vessels become lined with endovascular trophoblast cells (ENVT) (10).
Mentions: Upon implantation of an embryo, the menstrual cycle is broken and pregnancy commences. The implanted embryo, the blastocyst, comprises an inner cell mass, which develops into the fetus, and an outer trophoblast layer that forms the placenta. By tapping into the maternal circulation, the placenta serves the fetus with food procured from the mother's blood. Obtaining adequate blood supply necessitates some remodeling of blood vessels in the outer endometrium, which in the process becomes a much changed tissue called the decidua. The work involves an expanded and activated population of maternal NK cells in the decidua and extravillous trophoblast cells. The latter are directed to move into the decidua, where they strip off the muscular wall of the spiral arteries and supplant the endothelial cells that line these vessels (Fig. 1) (10).

Bottom Line: Elements of immunity were incorporated, giving pregnancy a mildly inflammatory character.Formation of the placenta, the organ that feeds the fetus, involves a cooperation between maternal natural killer (NK) cells and fetal trophoblast cells that remodels the blood supply.Recent research reveals that this process and human reproductive success are influenced by polymorphic HLA-C ligands and their killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5126, USA. peropa@stanford.edu.

ABSTRACT
In placental mammals, viviparity--the production of living young within the mother's body--evolved under the auspices of the immune system. Elements of immunity were incorporated, giving pregnancy a mildly inflammatory character. Formation of the placenta, the organ that feeds the fetus, involves a cooperation between maternal natural killer (NK) cells and fetal trophoblast cells that remodels the blood supply. Recent research reveals that this process and human reproductive success are influenced by polymorphic HLA-C ligands and their killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR).

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus