Accounting for the peripartum loss of granulated metrial gland cells, a natural killer cell population, from the pregnant mouse uterus

Silvia R. Delgado, Betty Anne McBey, Shigeto Yamashiro, Jun Fujita, Yasuo Kiso, B. Anne Croy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells become a prominent cell population in the rodent uterus during pregnancy. The mature, heavily granulated form of these cells is rare in virgin or postpartum uteri. Death, migration, or dedifferentiation could account for the disappearance of these cells from late gestation uteri. We asked whether uterine NM cells, also known as granulated metrial gland (GMG) cells, die ire situ and if expression of Fas antigen is essential for their death. Late in gestation, fragmentation of nuclear DNA was detected histologically by OH-end labelling, as were ultrastructural changes suggesting cell death. NK cells developed in and were lost from the uteri of pregnant Fas antigen-deficient lpr/lpr mice, Postpartum samples of retained placentas contained some residual NK cells that had moved from regions of uterine musculature toward the uterine lumen and were being expelled with the placenta. Thus, both cell death and placental separation remove NM cells from the peripartum uterus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-269
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Decidua
  • lpr/lpr mice
  • Multinucleate cells
  • Necrosis
  • NK cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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