Progesterone induced blocking factor (PIBF) mediates progesterone induced suppression of decidual lymphocyte cytotoxicity

Gordana Laškarin, Vlatka S. Tokmadži, Nataša Štrbo, Tatjana Bogovi, Julia Szekeres-Bartho, Ljiljana Randi, Eckhard R. Podack, Daniel Rukavina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Problem: Progesterone induced blocking factor (PIBF) is a mediator of progesterone that blocks peripheral blood lytic natural killer (NK) activity. Progesterone or PIBF stimulated decidual macrophages block up-regulation of perforin expression in decidual lymphocytes (DL). Therefore, we investigated whether progesterone regulates cytotoxicity of DL. Method of study: Decidual mononuclear cells were cultured with progesterone, PIBF, progesterone and anti-PIBF antibody or in the medium only. Cytolytic activity of non-adherent DL was measured by PKH-26 (red) 2 hr cytolytic assay and flow cytometry. Perforin positive DL were detected by immunofluorescency and PIBF-positive cells by immunohistology. Results: Progesterone and PIBF, in a dose-dependent manner decreased cytotoxicity of DL against K-562 targets, and perforin egzocytosys was blocked. Anti-PIBF antibodies reversed the progesterone mediated reduction in cytolytic activity of DL. PIBF positive cells were found in first trimester pregnancy decidua. Conclusion: The results indicate possible role for PIBF, as a mediator of progesterone in regulation of DL cytolytic activity at the maternal-foetal (M-F) interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Decidual lymphocytes
  • NK cytotoxicity
  • Perforin
  • PIBF
  • Pregnancy
  • Progesterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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