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Reprod Biomed Online. 2008 Feb;16(2):170-2.

Current knowledge on natural killer cells, pregnancy and pre-eclampsia. Introduction.

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  • U 782 INSERM, Equipe implantation et dialogue cytokinique mère conceptus, 32 rue des Carnets et Hôpital Antoine Béclère Pavillon Jean Dalsace, 92141 Clamart France. gerard_chaouat@wanadoo.fr


The introduction to this review discusses briefly why immunology, perceived as difficult by assisted reproduction technology clinicians, need nevertheless be envisaged as a central actor in the reproduction process, and how the maternal immune system, initially perceived as a threat to the fetoplacental unit, is in fact utterly necessary for successful pregnancy. The key cells in such a process are uterine natural killer cells, which can act as friend or foe to the fetus, but are now known to play a key role in local vasculogenesis. As an ultimate consequence in cases of dysfunction/dysregulation, these factors result in implantation failure, abortion or pre-eclampsia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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