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Placenta. 2010 Mar;31 Suppl:S87-92. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2009.12.022. Epub 2010 Jan 12.

Review: Functional role of uterine natural killer (uNK) cells in human early pregnancy decidua.

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  • 1Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, United Kingdom.


Leukocytes comprise approximately 30-40% of decidual stromal cells in early human pregnancy. The major leukocyte component is the uterine natural killer (uNK) cells. Despite over 20 years of research the functional role of these cells in situ remains unknown although they have been proposed to play roles in immunotolerance, regulation of trophoblast invasion and remodeling of the spiral arteries. Herein we review the functional roles of this important decidual cell type.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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