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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018 Mar;79(3). doi: 10.1111/aji.12817. Epub 2018 Jan 30.

Uterine natural killer cell progenitor populations predict successful implantation in women with endometriosis-associated infertility.

Author information

1
Merrion Fertility Clinic, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin 2, Ireland.
2
School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland.
3
School of Biochemistry & Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
4
School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Abstract

PROBLEM:

Uterine natural killer (uNK) cells play a critical role early in gestation. As we previously identified altered uNK cell development in endometriosis-associated infertility, we herein sought to characterize natural killer (NK) cell profiles in endometriosis that may predict embryo implantation.

METHOD OF STUDY:

Study participants had a surgical diagnosis of endometriosis-associated infertility. Endometrial tissue and peripheral blood were obtained from 58 women. Thirty-three patients underwent artificial reproductive technology (IVF, ICSI, or IUI) within a mean of 9.5 months of surgery. NK and hematopoietic progenitor cells from endometrium and blood were analyzed by flow cytometry. Successful implantation was defined as a positive pregnancy test.

RESULTS:

In successful implantation, populations of endometrial CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells were higher (3.97% vs 0.69%; P < .0004), and coexpression of NK cell marker CD56 was increased (81.1% vs 60.9%; P < .034) compared with patients who had failed implantation. In contrast, levels of blood NK progenitors were similar in both groups.

CONCLUSION:

Our study revealed that uterine NK progenitor cell populations are markedly different in patients with endometriosis who proceed to successful or failed embryo implantation and may define a novel predictor of implantation success. Our findings also highlight the fundamental differences inherent in NK cell repertoires between blood and uterine compartments.

KEYWORDS:

endometriosis; hematopoietic stem cell; implantation; uterine natural killer cell

PMID:
29380456
DOI:
10.1111/aji.12817
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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