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Decidual natural killer cells regulate vessel stability: implications for impaired spiral artery remodelling.

Fraser, R; Whitley, GS; Thilaganathan, B; Cartwright, JE (2015) Decidual natural killer cells regulate vessel stability: implications for impaired spiral artery remodelling. Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 110. pp. 54-60. ISSN 0165-0378
SGUL Authors: Cartwright, Judith Eleanor Whitley, Guy St John

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Decidual NK (dNK) cells are present during uterine spiral artery remodelling, an event that is crucial for successful placentation and the provision of an adequate blood supply to the developing fetus. Spiral artery remodelling is impaired in the pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia. Although dNK cells are known to play active roles at the maternal-fetal interface, little is known about their effect on endothelial integrity, an important component of vessel stability. We present a study in which we have modelled dNK-endothelium interactions, using first-trimester dNK cells isolated from both normal pregnancies and those with impaired spiral artery remodelling. dNK cells were isolated from first-trimester pregnancies, screened by uterine artery Doppler ultrasound to determine resistance indices (RI) that relate to the extent of spiral artery remodelling. dNK culture supernatant from normal-RI pregnancies (but not high-RI pregnancies) destabilised endothelial tube-like structures in Matrigel, and normal-RI dNK cells induced endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and tumour necrosis factor-α expression to a greater extent than high-RI dNK cells. We have established a functional role for dNK cells in the disruption of endothelial structures and have suggested how impairment of this process may be contributing to the reduced vessel remodelling in pregnancies with a high uterine artery resistance index. These findings have implications for our understanding of the pathology of pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy disorders where remodelling is impaired.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Keywords: Decidua, Endothelium, Natural killer, Pre-eclampsia, Remodelling, Spiral artery, Obstetrics & Reproductive Medicine, 1107 Immunology, 1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute (MCS)
Academic Structure > Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute (MCS) > Vascular (INCCVA)
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Reproductive Immunology
ISSN: 0165-0378
Language: ENG
12 May 2015Published
Publisher License: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Project IDFunderFunder ID
091550Wellcome Trust
PubMed ID: 26004035
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