Early pregnancy decidual lymphocytes beside perforin use Fas ligand (FasL) mediated cytotoxicity

Tatjana Bogovic Crncic, Gordana Laskarin, Koraljka Juretic Frankovic, Vlatka Sotosek Tokmadzic, Natasa Strbo, Ivica Bedenicki, Philippe Le Bouteiller, Julie Tabiasco, Daniel Rukavina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Decidual natural killer (NK) cells are the predominant lymphocytes at the maternal-fetal interface. They are involved in defense against virally infected, parasitized and transformed cells and may contribute to the control of trophoblast invasion. The presence of perforin and other possible cytolytic mediators suggests these functions. Cytolytic mechanisms of unstimulated and Th1 cytokine stimulated decidual lymphocytes (DL), as well as purified decidual CD56+ cells, were analyzed against NK sensitive and resistant targets. DL were isolated from decidual mononuclear cells (DMC) cultured in the medium only or in the presence of Th1 cytokines: IL-2, IL-12, IL-15, IL-18 and their combinations (IL-12/IL-18 or IL-15/IL-18). Fas ligand (FasL), perforin and granzyme B mRNAs expression and cytotoxicity were analyzed by flow cytometry and/or RT-PCR. DL (containing 72.19 ± 7.53% of CD56+ cells), obtained from 18 h-cultured DMC in the medium only, expressed perforin, FasL and granzyme B mRNAs and lysed the NK-sensitive K-562 cell line, and also the NK-resistant P815 and P815-Fas transfected cell lines. Concanamycin A, a blocker of granule exocytosis, decreased significantly K-562 lysis, but not P815 lysis. However, the addition of anti-FasL antibody diminished significantly P815 lysis as well. IL-2 and IL-15, known inducers of perforin and FasL mRNAs and protein expression, could not additionally increase P 815 cell lysis by DL cultured within DMC. These results suggest that DL cultured in DMC for 18 h, have the characteristics of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells and are able to use efficiently both the perforin and the FasL cytolytic pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-117
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Decidual lymphocytes
  • Fas ligand
  • Perforin
  • Th1 cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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