Dorien Feyaerts, from the research group of Van der Molen, theme Inflammatory diseases, showed that pregnancy induces a memory phenotype on endometrial natural killer cells. However, previous CMV infection is a prerequisite for this memory induction.They published their findings in Cellular and Molecular Immunology: link.
During pregnancy, local uterine natural killer (NK) cells play an important regulatory role by ensuring correct placentation and successful pregnancy. It is known that pregnancy complications of poor placentation are at increased risk in first pregnancies. Since it has become clear that NK cells possess immune memory, it has been suggested that pregnancy could induce memory in uterine NK cells.
The researchers report that previous pregnancy indeed induces an increase of endometrial NK cells with a memory phenotype (LILRB1+ expression on NKG2C+ NK cells) but only when women had a CMV positive status. Multigravidae women with a CMV negative status did not show memory-like NK cells in their endometrium. This suggests that CMV seropositivity might be a prerequisite for the induction of these pregnancy-induced memory endometrial NK cells.
These finding opens up the exciting hypothesis that CMV primes the induction of pregnancy trained eNK cells. This prompts further research to determine how this CMV priming works and whether the observed changes would alter NK cell function in a manner beneficial for future gestations.
Related news items
4,8 million euros for prevention of tuberculosis among people with diabetes in Africa16 July 2019
Reinout van Crevel and Lindsey te Brake have received European funding of 4.8 million euros to lead an international consortium to screen thousands of people with diabetes in Uganda and Tanzania for TB, and investigate the effect and costs of 3 months preventive treatment for TB.read more
Handbook of biomarkers and precision medicine a new publication by Alain van Gool12 July 2019
Alain van Gool published a new handbook on biomarkers and applications in (pre)clinical drug development for precision medicine.read more
The real impact of menstrual complaints on work and school productivity8 July 2019
Menstrual period symptoms may be linked to nearly nine days of lost productivity every year, through presenteeism, suggests the largest study of its kind, published in the journal BMJ Open. But the real impact on women and society is underestimated and poorly appreciated, say the researchers.read more
Successful Summer School by CMBI, TML and Human Genetics8 July 2019
CMBI, TML and Human Genetics organized a successful Summer School on 'Integrative X-omics Analyses Empowering Personalized Healthcare'.read more