Uterine Natural Killer Cells
comparative analysis of the interplay between the natural immune system, hormones and pregnancy
This publication contains the first collection of reviews that discuss the identification and functions of specialized lymphocytes found in the reproductive tracts of women, laboratory rodents and livestock. Internationally recognized experts in reproductive immunology and uterine physiology highlight the hormonal regulation of these cells of the natural immune system and their functions in non-pregnant and pregnant women. These are contrasted to rodent models, including transgenic mice, where more detailed time course studies have been conducted. This information from species that have invasive hemochorial-type placentation is compared to current findings in livestock species, particularly the pig, a species with non-invasive placental development. Each review provides significant new information to support a dominant and critical role for non-lytic functions of the natural immune system in promotion of pregnancy success.
Investigators wishing to update their knowledge of the dynamic effects of hormones and pregnancy on lymphocytes within the uterine mucosa will greatly benefit from this publication. It will also be appreciated by physicians and veterinarians involved in obstetrical care and by comparative biologists with an interest in the female reproductive tract.