Send to

Choose Destination
Endocrinology. 2009 Jun;150(6):2882-8. doi: 10.1210/en.2008-1309. Epub 2009 Feb 5.

Proliferation of uterine natural killer cells is induced by human chorionic gonadotropin and mediated via the mannose receptor.

Author information

Medical Research Council Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.


The endometrial lining of the human uterus contains a population of phenotypically distinct (CD56(bright), CD16(dim)), tissue-specific, natural killer [uterine natural killer (uNK)] cells that play a key role in the establishment of a successful pregnancy. An increase in the number of endometrial uNK cells occurs when the conceptus implants, and there is a further increase during the early stages of placentation. Here, we describe studies that have identified human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), a glycoprotein synthesized by the preimplantation conceptus, as a novel regulator of uNK cell proliferation. The impact of hCG on uNK cells was mediated via the mannose receptor (CD206) rather than by the classical hCG/LH receptor that was not expressed. The mannose receptor and hCG were colocalized on the surface of uNK cells, and proliferation did not occur if cells were incubated with deglycosylated hCG or intact hCG in the presence of excess d-Mannose. These novel observations provide new insight into the endocrine-immune dialogue that exists between the conceptus and immune cells within the receptive endometrium, and have implications for the role of uNK cell-trophoblast interactions and pregnancy outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center