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Natural Killer, Natural Killer T, Helper and Cytotoxic T Cells in the Decidua from Sporadic Miscarriage


Hideto Yamada, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku N15 W7, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.


Problem  The aim of this cohort study was to assess natural killer (NK) cell and natural killer T (NKT) cell populations and cytokine expressions of helper T (Th) and cytotoxic T (Tc) cells in the decidua of sporadic miscarriage (MS) and induced abortion (IA).

Methods  The deciduae were obtained from consecutive 40 women whose pregnancies ended in the first trimester MS, and the fetal chromosome karyotypes were analyzed. The cell populations were measured by flow cytometry.

Results  No significant differences in NK cell or NKT cell percentages were found among MS with normal chromosome karyotype (MSNK, n = 14), MS with abnormal karyotype (MSAK, n = 26) and IA (n = 14). Interferon (IFN)-γ+ cell percentage and interleukin (IL)-4+/tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α+ ratio of Th cells in MS groups were increased, while IL-4+ cell percentage, IL-4+/IFN-γ+ and IL-4+/TNF-α+ ratios of Tc cells in MS groups were decreased as compared with those in IA. No significant difference in these parameters between MSNK and MSAK was found.

Conclusions  These results suggested that Tc1 predominance existed in the decidua of MS. Th1 predominance was not found in MSNK.