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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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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