Koopman LA, Kopcow HD, Rybalov B, Boyson JE, Orange JS, Schatz F, Masch R, Lockwood CJ, Schachter AD, Park PJ, Strominger JL. 2003. Human decidual natural killer cells are a unique NK cell subset with immunomodulatory potential. J Exp Med. 198(8):1201-1212. DOI:10.1084/jem.20030305


Natural killer cells constitute 50-90% of lymphocytes in human uterine decidua in early pregnancy. Here, CD56(bright) uterine decidual NK (dNK) cells were compared with the CD56(bright) and CD56(dim) peripheral NK cell subsets by microarray analysis, with verification of results by flow cytometry and RT-PCR. Among the approximately 10,000 genes studied, 278 genes showed at least a threefold change with P < or = 0.001 when comparing the dNK and peripheral NK cell subsets, most displaying increased expression in dNK cells. The largest number of these encoded surface proteins, including the unusual lectinlike receptors NKG2E and Ly-49L, several killer cell Ig-like receptors, the integrin subunits alpha(D), alpha(X), beta1, and beta5, and multiple tetraspanins (CD9, CD151, CD53, CD63, and TSPAN-5). Additionally, two secreted proteins, galectin-1 and progestagen-associated protein 14, known to have immunomodulatory functions, were selectively expressed in dNK cells. Article and supplemental material via
Journal of Experimental Medicine

Related Faculty

Photo of Jack Strominger

Research Professor and Immunology pioneer Jack Strominger investigates self-tolerance and the immunology of pregnancy. His lab specializes in the structure and function of human histocompatibility proteins and their roles in disease.

Search Menu