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Biol Reprod. 1997 Sep;57(3):609-15.

Cultured human decidual stromal cells express B7-1 (CD80) and B7-2 (CD86) and stimulate allogeneic T cells.

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  • 1Unidad de Immunolog√≠a, Instituto de Biotecnolog√≠a, Universidad de Granada, Spain.


The origin and function of decidual stromal cells (DSC), the main cellular component of the decidua, are uncertain. Although the general consensus is that they are fibroblastic cells involved in fetal trophoblast nutrition, several authors have demonstrated that these cells can carry out immunological functions and that at least a subpopulation of them may be of hematopoietic origin. Human DSC precursors or predecidual cells (preDSC) purified by expansion in culture express a surface phenotype recalling that of dendritic cells. In the present study, we show by flow cytometry that these cells also express B7-1 (CD80) and B7-2 (CD86), two antigens involved in the costimulation of T cells by antigen-presenting cells. Cultured DSC were also able to stimulate allogenic T cells in vitro. Using an immunohistochemical technique, we found that in cryostatic sections of early human decidua, CD80 and CD86 were expressed mainly by DSC located around the decidual vessels, a location compatible with preDSC rather than fully differentiated DSC. Our results suggest that preDSC are involved in antigen presentation.

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