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Am J Reprod Immunol. 1999 Jun;41(6):413-22.

Natural killer cell subpopulations and cytotoxicity for infertile patients undergoing in vitro fertilization.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Aomori, Japan.



We evaluated the participation of the lymphocyte subpopulations in the endometrium and peripheral blood on in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) outcomes.


Peripheral blood samples were analyzed for the expression of CD3, CD4, CD8, CD16, and CD56, using a FACScan, and for natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity, using a 51Cr assay. Endometrial samples obtained at a previous phase of the IVF cycle were analyzed for the expression of CD16 and CD56, using a FACScan.


The percentages of CD56+ cells and CD16+CD56+ cells in the peripheral blood on the day of ET were significantly higher in the failed group than in the implanted group. In the endometrial tissue, the increase of the percentage of CD16+CD56dim cells and the decrease of the percentage of CD16-CD56bright cells in the aborted group were significant when compared with the those of the delivered group.


The increase of cytotoxic NK cells in the peripheral blood and the endometrium may affect the therapeutic results of IVF-ET. It was suggested that modifications of NK cytotoxicity or of NK subpopulations might contribute to the improvements of IVF outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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