Science in China Series C: Life Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 111–119

Role of uterine natural killer cells in angiogenesis of human decidua of the first-trimester pregnancy

  • Li GuoHua 
  • Huang Wei 
  • Xia QingJie 
  • Yang KaiXuan 
  • Liu RaoFang 
  • Zhu HuiLi 
  • Jiang Wei 
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11427-008-0027-7

Cite this article as:
Li, G., Huang, W., Xia, Q. et al. Sci. China Ser. C-Life Sci. (2008) 51: 111. doi:10.1007/s11427-008-0027-7

Abstract

Decidualization is accompanied by extensive angiogenesis, which is an essential step in the maturation of new blood vessels in mammalian pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to determine a distribution of uNK cells (CD56+ uNK or CD56bright cells) in human decidua of the first-trimester pregnancy, and investigate whether uNK cells in human decidua could express vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) and/or angiopoietin2 (Ang2). Our immunohistochemical staining results demonstrated that a great amount of uNK (CD56+) cells scattered throughout the decidual stroma and near endometrial gland and spiral vessels in human decidua. The protein expression of VEGF-A and Ang2 was detected in decidual stroma cells, capillary endothelial cells and glandular cells in tissue specimens. There was a positive correlation between microvessel density (MVD) and the number of the CD56-positive uNK cells in decidual stroma, and also between the number of the CD56-positive uNK cells and VEGF-A protein expression in the tissue. In addition, we found that uNK cells in human decidua could express VEGF-A mRNA, but not Ang2 mRNA, in isolated uNK cells in human decidua of the first-trimester gestation by combination of LCM and Nested-PCR. Our study indicated that uNK cells, through expressing VEGF-A, may play an important role in the angiogenic response at the time of human decidualization and early placenta development.

Keywords

uterine natural killer cellsdeciduaangiogenesisVEGFAng2

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li GuoHua 
    • 1
  • Huang Wei 
    • 1
  • Xia QingJie 
    • 2
  • Yang KaiXuan 
    • 3
  • Liu RaoFang 
    • 1
  • Zhu HuiLi 
    • 1
  • Jiang Wei 
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Reproductive EndocrinologyWest China Second University Hospital, Sichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.West China Research Laboratory of Molecular GeneticsSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of PathologyWest China Second University Hospital, Sichuan UniversityChengduChina
  4. 4.Department of PathologyWest China Hospital, Sichuan UniversityChengduChina