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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2010 Jan;63(1):46-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2009.00764.x. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

Comparative analysis of peripheral natural killer cells in the two phases of the ovarian cycle.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Section of Cell Biology and Biophysics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

PROBLEM:

Changes in endometrial Natural Killer (NK) cells during the luteal phase of the ovarian cycle are important in initiating/maintaining a subsequent pregnancy. In the present study it was investigated whether during the menstrual cycle changes occur also in peripheral blood (PB) NKs.

METHOD OF STUDY:

Blood samples during the follicular and the luteal phase were collected from 30 women without fertility problems. Samples were analyzed by flow-cytometry for: (1) NK cells (CD3(-)CD16+CD56+) and (2) intracellular production of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) by NK cells. For the comparison and correlation of the two populations between the two phases, Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Spearman's Coefficient were used.

RESULTS:

The differences in percentages of CD3(-)CD16+CD56+ cells and that of CD3(-)CD16+CD56+/IFN-gamma+ cells between the follicular and the luteal phase were not statistically significant (10.61 +/- 5.11 versus 9.76 +/- 4.57 and 6.48 +/- 7.90 versus 7.30 +/- 6.77, respectively, P > 0.05). The correlation between the two variables (NK% and NK/IFN-gamma%) was weakly positive (P = 0.07) only in the follicular phase.

CONCLUSION:

The study did not reveal menstrual cycle-depended changes in PB NK cells. Thus, a suggestion to measure these cells in a specific phase of the cycle in order to predict the outcome of a subsequent pregnancy in women with fertility problems is objected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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