ORIGINAL ARTICLE: CD56+ Cells are Recruited to the Uterus in Two Waves: at Ovulation and During the First 2 Weeks after Missed Menses
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PROBLEM: Uterine natural killer (uNK) cells are enriched in the post-ovulatory uterus and during pregnancy. Whether these cells arise from blood pre-cursors or from stem cells in the uterus is undefined. To support a hypothesis that precursors of uNK cells are recruited from blood, adhesive function of blood CD56+ subsets were assessed during one cycle and during pregnancy. METHOD OF STUDY: Fifteen women of proven fertility provided serial blood samples during one menstrual cycle and thirty women with a history of implantation failure or recurrent spontaneous abortion provided serial samples during infertility treatment. RESULTS: CD56(bright) cells, but not CD56(dim) cells or NKT cells, increased in ligand-binding capacity during ovulation in fertile cycles only and during the first 2 weeks from date of missed menses. CONCLUSION: Enhanced adhesive function at ovulation in CD56(bright) cells in fertile cycles and during early gestation supports a hypothesis of recruitment of pre-uNK cells from the blood CD56(bright) subset.
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