Review

Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 115-122

Regulatory T cells and regulatory natural killer (NK) cells play important roles in feto-maternal tolerance

  • Shigeru SaitoAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama Email author 
  • , Arihiro ShiozakiAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama
  • , Yasushi SasakiAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama
  • , Akitoshi NakashimaAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama
  • , Tomoko ShimaAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama
  • , Mika ItoAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama

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Abstract

In the early pregnancy decidua, lymphocytes express some activation markers on their surface, suggesting that maternal lymphocytes are activated and recognize the semiallograftic fetus. Therefore, the immunoregulation system must work to prevent fetus rejection. Recent data showed that parts of the immunoregulation system such as CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cells, Th3 cells, Tr1 cells, regulatory NK cells, and a tryptophan-catabolizing enzyme, indolamine 2,3 deoxygenase, play very important roles in the maintenance of pregnancy. Not only Treg cells but also regulatory NK cells may inhibit maternal T cell or NK cell fetal attack.

Keywords

Pregnancy Regulatory T cell Regulatory NK cell Th3 cell Tr1 cell