How Do Uterine Natural Killer and Innate Lymphoid Cells Contribute to Successful Pregnancy?
Sharkey, Andrew M.
Frontiers in Immunology
Frontiers Media S.A.
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Huhn, O., Zhao, X., Esposito, L., Moffett, A., Colucci, F., & Sharkey, A. M. (2021). How Do Uterine Natural Killer and Innate Lymphoid Cells Contribute to Successful Pregnancy?. Frontiers in Immunology, 12 https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.607669
Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are the most abundant immune cells in the uterine mucosa both before and during pregnancy. Circumstantial evidence suggests they play important roles in regulating placental development but exactly how they contribute to the successful outcome of pregnancy is still unclear. Uterine ILCs (uILCs) include subsets of tissue-resident natural killer (NK) cells and ILCs, and until recently the phenotype and functions of uILCs were poorly defined. Determining the specific roles of each subset is intrinsically challenging because of the rapidly changing nature of the tissue both during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) and high dimensional flow and mass cytometry approaches have recently been used to analyse uILC populations in the uterus in both humans and mice. This detailed characterisation has significantly changed our understanding of the heterogeneity within the uILC compartment. It will also enable key clinical questions to be addressed including whether specific uILC subsets are altered in infertility, miscarriage and pregnancy disorders such as foetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia. Here, we summarise recent advances in our understanding of the phenotypic and functional diversity of uILCs in non-pregnant endometrium and first trimester decidua, and review how these cells may contribute to successful placental development.
Immunology, uterine natural killer cell, innate lymphoid cell, pregnancy, tissue resident natural killer cell, placenta, decidua, endometrium
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.607669
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/324874