Human uterine lymphocytes acquire a more experienced and tolerogenic phenotype during pregnancy.

Sci Rep 2017 06 6;7(1):2884. Epub 2017 Jun 6.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Laboratory of Medical Immunology, Radboud University Medical Center, PO box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Pregnancy requires a delicate immune balance that nurtures the allogeneic fetus, while maintaining reactivity against pathogens. Despite increasing knowledge, data is lacking on the transition of pre-pregnancy endometrial lymphocytes to a pregnancy state. Here, we immunophenotyped lymphocytes from endometrium (MMC), term decidua parietalis (DPMC), and PBMC for direct comparison. We found that the immune cell composition of MMC and DPMC clearly differ from each other, with less NK-cells, and more NKT-cells and T-cells in DPMC. An increased percentage of central memory and effector memory T-cells, and less naive T-cells in DPMC indicates that decidual T-cells are more experienced than endometrial T-cells. The increased percentage of CD4CD25CD127 Treg in DPMC, including differentiated Treg, is indicative of a more experienced and tolerogenic environment during pregnancy. The Th cell composition of both MMC and DPMC was different from PBMC, with a preference for Th1 over Th2 in the uterine environment. Between MMC and DPMC, percentages of Th cell subsets did not differ significantly. Our results suggest that already before pregnancy a tightly controlled Th1/Th2/Th17 balance is present. These findings create opportunities to further investigate the underlying immune mechanism of pregnancy complications using menstrual blood as a source for endometrial lymphocytes.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-03191-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5460245PMC
June 2017
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