Clinical implication of natural killer cells and reproduction.
The placenta has a complex anatomical structure and different subsets of NK cells with various functional roles can directly interact with trophoblasts.
NK cell subpopulations and their functions, putative roles of NK cells in peripheral blood and endometrium are reviewed in relation to RSA and infertility.
An increase in NK cell numbers and /or activity in pre- or post-conceptional period in women with RSA or infertility with multiple implantation failures are a significant clinical concern. In addition, immuno-phenotypic characteristics of NK cells in these women support the changes for their increased activity status. Further studies are needed to explore underlying mechanism of NK cells in RSA, infertility, and other reproductive immunopathologies.
Possible neurological and hormonal control of NK cells and NK cell interaction with various leukocyte populations need further investigation in women with reproductive failures.