Uterine natural killer cells during pregnancy in rodents

Judith R. Head

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Large mononuclear cells with abundant prominent granules were described decades ago by morphologists studying implantation sites in pregnant rodents. These striking cells accumulated by midgestation in large numbers in a structure unique to rodent pregnancy that develops in the mesometrial region of the uterine musculature and was given the unfortunate name of metrial gland. Thus, the cells were originally termed granulated metrial gland (GMG) cells. Evidence provided over the last few years, especially in situ phenotyping and studies in mutant and transgenic mice, has reliably identified these cells as members of the natural killer (NK) cell lineage, and they are referred to here as granulated uterine NK (uNK) cells. Much of the evidence is reviewed here, along with a description of the spatial and temporal aspects of the differentiation of these cells. Especially highlighted are their life history and their likely importance early in pregnancy before development of the metrial gland proper. Their relation to other NK cell populations, especially activated cells, as well as their possible functions during pregnancy, are discussed. Because these cells develop in the unique microenvironment of the pregnant uterus and appear to differentiate along a specific pathway, hypotheses are proposed regarding the regulation of granulated uNR cell differentiation in this site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalNatural Immunity
Volume15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1996

Fingerprint

Natural Killer Cells
Rodentia
Metrial Gland
Pregnancy
Cell Differentiation
Cell Lineage
Transgenic Mice
Uterus
Names
Population

Keywords

  • Decidua
  • Granulated metrial gland cells
  • Lymphocytes
  • Metrial gland
  • Natural killer cells
  • Pregnancy
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Uterine natural killer cells during pregnancy in rodents. / Head, Judith R.

In: Natural Immunity, Vol. 15, No. 1, 12.1996, p. 7-21.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Head, Judith R. / Uterine natural killer cells during pregnancy in rodents. In: Natural Immunity. 1996 ; Vol. 15, No. 1. pp. 7-21.
@article{671511943fab4b3bb6c9faf0d3c31e62,
title = "Uterine natural killer cells during pregnancy in rodents",
abstract = "Large mononuclear cells with abundant prominent granules were described decades ago by morphologists studying implantation sites in pregnant rodents. These striking cells accumulated by midgestation in large numbers in a structure unique to rodent pregnancy that develops in the mesometrial region of the uterine musculature and was given the unfortunate name of metrial gland. Thus, the cells were originally termed granulated metrial gland (GMG) cells. Evidence provided over the last few years, especially in situ phenotyping and studies in mutant and transgenic mice, has reliably identified these cells as members of the natural killer (NK) cell lineage, and they are referred to here as granulated uterine NK (uNK) cells. Much of the evidence is reviewed here, along with a description of the spatial and temporal aspects of the differentiation of these cells. Especially highlighted are their life history and their likely importance early in pregnancy before development of the metrial gland proper. Their relation to other NK cell populations, especially activated cells, as well as their possible functions during pregnancy, are discussed. Because these cells develop in the unique microenvironment of the pregnant uterus and appear to differentiate along a specific pathway, hypotheses are proposed regarding the regulation of granulated uNR cell differentiation in this site.",
keywords = "Decidua, Granulated metrial gland cells, Lymphocytes, Metrial gland, Natural killer cells, Pregnancy, Uterus",
author = "Head, {Judith R.}",
year = "1996",
month = "12",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
pages = "7--21",
journal = "Natural Immunity",
issn = "1018-8916",
publisher = "S. Karger AG",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Uterine natural killer cells during pregnancy in rodents

AU - Head, Judith R.

PY - 1996/12

Y1 - 1996/12

N2 - Large mononuclear cells with abundant prominent granules were described decades ago by morphologists studying implantation sites in pregnant rodents. These striking cells accumulated by midgestation in large numbers in a structure unique to rodent pregnancy that develops in the mesometrial region of the uterine musculature and was given the unfortunate name of metrial gland. Thus, the cells were originally termed granulated metrial gland (GMG) cells. Evidence provided over the last few years, especially in situ phenotyping and studies in mutant and transgenic mice, has reliably identified these cells as members of the natural killer (NK) cell lineage, and they are referred to here as granulated uterine NK (uNK) cells. Much of the evidence is reviewed here, along with a description of the spatial and temporal aspects of the differentiation of these cells. Especially highlighted are their life history and their likely importance early in pregnancy before development of the metrial gland proper. Their relation to other NK cell populations, especially activated cells, as well as their possible functions during pregnancy, are discussed. Because these cells develop in the unique microenvironment of the pregnant uterus and appear to differentiate along a specific pathway, hypotheses are proposed regarding the regulation of granulated uNR cell differentiation in this site.

AB - Large mononuclear cells with abundant prominent granules were described decades ago by morphologists studying implantation sites in pregnant rodents. These striking cells accumulated by midgestation in large numbers in a structure unique to rodent pregnancy that develops in the mesometrial region of the uterine musculature and was given the unfortunate name of metrial gland. Thus, the cells were originally termed granulated metrial gland (GMG) cells. Evidence provided over the last few years, especially in situ phenotyping and studies in mutant and transgenic mice, has reliably identified these cells as members of the natural killer (NK) cell lineage, and they are referred to here as granulated uterine NK (uNK) cells. Much of the evidence is reviewed here, along with a description of the spatial and temporal aspects of the differentiation of these cells. Especially highlighted are their life history and their likely importance early in pregnancy before development of the metrial gland proper. Their relation to other NK cell populations, especially activated cells, as well as their possible functions during pregnancy, are discussed. Because these cells develop in the unique microenvironment of the pregnant uterus and appear to differentiate along a specific pathway, hypotheses are proposed regarding the regulation of granulated uNR cell differentiation in this site.

KW - Decidua

KW - Granulated metrial gland cells

KW - Lymphocytes

KW - Metrial gland

KW - Natural killer cells

KW - Pregnancy

KW - Uterus

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030454043&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030454043&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 7

EP - 21

JO - Natural Immunity

JF - Natural Immunity

SN - 1018-8916

IS - 1

ER -