Perforin and Fas/FasL cytolytic pathways at the maternal-fetal interface

Tatjana Bogovic Crncic, Gordana Laskarin, Koraljka Juretic, Natasa Strbo, Jana Dupor, Suzana Srsen, Ljiljana Randic, Philippe Le Bouteiller, Julie Tabiasco, Daniel Rukavina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The immunogenetic enigma of maternal acceptance of the fetal semiallograft has been termed an immunological paradox. The first trimester decidua is heavily infiltrated with CD56bright CD16- uterine natural killer (uNK) cells which must be prepared to respond to potential pathogen challenges and still be able to control immune responses that allow the development of the fetus. The significant presence of cytolytic mediators, perforin and Fas/Fas ligand (FasL), at the maternal-fetal interface raises a question of their role(s) in the immunological interrelations between maternal tissues and trophoblast cells. As uNK cells in vitro lyse target cell lines (K562, P815 and P815Fas) using these effector molecules, it seems that, although immunocompetent, their cytotoxicity is not directed against trophoblast during normal pregnancy. Therefore, it is generally believed that the hormonal and Th1/Th2 cytokine balance plays an important role in the tolerance and maintenance of pregnancy. This paper gives an overview of the recent findings on the complex immunological events that occur at the maternal-fetal interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Decidua
  • Fas/FasL
  • Perforin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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