• cytokine;
  • cytolytic mediators;
  • DC/NK interaction;
  • decidua;
  • NK proliferation;
  • pregnancy

Problem  Dendritic cells (DC)/natural killer (NK) cells interactions in the deciduas of early human pregnancies were analyzed in vitro.

Method of study  Phenotype, cytokine expression and/or cytolytic mediators’ expression were measured by flow cytometry in NK and DC from the freshly isolated decidual mononuclear cells or after their purification and co-culture in vitro. Proliferation of 5(6)-Carboxyfluorescein diacetate N-succinimidyl ester (CFSE)-labeled CD56+ cells was analyzed by flow cytometry after the co-culture with CD1a+ or CD83+ DC.

Results  Decidual CD1a+ cells show less mature phenotype with no expression of CD197, lower expression of CD80 and CD86 and higher expression of CD206 and CD195 in comparison to CD83+ cells. Interleukin (IL)-15, interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α productions were higher in immature than mature DC, whereas IL-10 and IL-18 were equally produced in both subpopulations. Immature DC increase perforin, FasL and TRAIL protein expression and proliferation of NK cells, but decrease their intracellular IL-15 production. Mature DC caused less efficient proliferation of NK cells, and did not affect cytokine and cytolytic mediator expression.

Conclusion These results suggest that decidual CD1a+ cells regulate and shape NK cell function more profoundly than CD83+ cells in decidua.