Natural killer cells in pregnancy: How do they avoid attacking fetal tissues?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Fetal tissues in contact with mother's blood lack classical HLA-class I molecules, thus escaping T cell-mediated recognition and rejection. However, how does the fetus escape killing by NK cells which sense the lack of HLA expression? Here, Maria Cristina Mingari and colleagues address this question and report recent data indicating that, during pregnancy, maternal NK cells display a general upregulation of inhibitory receptors specific for HLA-G. More importantly, all decidua-associated NK cells express one or more of these receptors, thus preventing their attack of fetal tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-111
Number of pages5
JournalImmunologist
Volume7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology

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