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11 May 2022 Uterine NK cell functions at maternal-fetal interface
Xiuxiu Xu, Yonggang Zhou, Binqing Fu, Haiming Wei
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Abstract

During pregnancy, maternal decidual tissue interacts with fetal trophoblasts. They constitute the maternal-fetal interface responsible for supplying nutrition to the fetus. Uterine natural killer (uNK) cells are the most abundant immune cells at the maternal-fetal interface during early pregnancy and play critical roles throughout pregnancy. This review provides current knowledge about the functions of uNK cells. uNK cells have been shown to facilitate remodeling of the spiral artery, control the invasion of extravillous trophoblast (EVT) cells, contribute to the induction and maintenance of immune tolerance, protect against pathogen infection, and promote fetal development. Pregnancy-trained memory of uNK cells improves subsequent pregnancy outcomes. In addition, this review describes the distinct functions of three uNK cell subsets: CD27CD11b, CD27+, and CD27CD11b+ uNK cells.

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
Xiuxiu Xu, Yonggang Zhou, Binqing Fu, and Haiming Wei "Uterine NK cell functions at maternal-fetal interface," Biology of Reproduction 107(1), 327-338, (11 May 2022). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/ioac094
Received: 29 December 2021; Accepted: 29 April 2022; Published: 11 May 2022
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
decidua
EVT
infection
natural killer cells
pregnancy
spiral artery
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