Repository logo

Local immune recognition of trophoblast in early human pregnancy: controversies and questions.

Accepted version

No Thumbnail Available



Change log


Shreeve, Norman 


The role of the maternal immune system in reproductive success in humans remains controversial. Here we focus on the events that occur in the maternal decidua during the first few weeks of human pregnancy, because this is the site at which maternal leukocytes initially interact with and can recognize fetal trophoblast cells, potentially involving allorecognition by both T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are the dominant leukocyte population in first-trimester decidua, and genetic studies point to a role of allorecognition by uterine NK cells in establishing a boundary between the mother and the fetus. By contrast, definitive evidence that allorecognition by decidual T cells occurs during the first trimester is lacking. Thus, our view is that during the crucial period when the placenta is established, damaging T cell-mediated adaptive immune responses towards placental trophoblast are minimized, whereas NK cell allorecognition contributes to successful implantation and healthy pregnancy.



Clinical Research, Perinatal Period - Conditions Originating in Perinatal Period, Contraception/Reproduction, Pediatric, 1 Underpinning research, 2.1 Biological and endogenous factors, 1.1 Normal biological development and functioning, 2 Aetiology, Reproductive health and childbirth

Journal Title

Nat Rev Immunol

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Wellcome Trust (200841/Z/16/Z)