UNIT 7.40 Isolation of Cells from the Feto-Maternal Interface

  1. Victoria Male1,2,
  2. Lucy Gardner1,
  3. Ashley Moffett1

Published Online: 1 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im0740s97

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Male, V., Gardner, L. and Moffett, A. 2012. Isolation of Cells from the Feto-Maternal Interface. Current Protocols in Immunology. 97:IV:7.40:7.40.1–7.40.11.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

  2. 2

    Imperial College, London, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: APR 2012


The mucosal lining of the human uterus is host to a specialized population of leukocytes, which, during pregnancy, interact with invading placental cells (trophoblast) of fetal origin. Of particular interest are uterine natural killer cells, which account for around 70% of the leukocytes at this site during the first trimester of pregnancy, and seem to be specially adapted to recognize invading trophoblast cells. In order to understand the interactions between mucosal immune cells and trophoblast, and those among the immune cells themselves, it is useful to be able to isolate and culture these cells. Here, we describe protocols for the isolation of leukocytes, stromal cells, and trophoblast cells from the feto-maternal interface. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. 97:7.40.1-7.40.11. © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • pregnancy;
  • trophoblast;
  • decidua;
  • endometrium;
  • natural killer cells;
  • stromal cells