The role of γ/δ T cells in the feto-maternal relationship

Julia Szekeres-Bartho, Aliz Barakonyi, Eva Miko, Beata Polgar, Thomas Palkovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)


Polymorphic MHC is absent from the trophoblast, therefore, it resists NK as well as CTL-mediated lysis in vitro. Activated γ/δ TCR positive cells are significantly enriched in the decidua as well as in peripheral blood of healthy pregnant women. Human peripheral γ/δ lymphocytes preferentially express the Vγ 9/Vδ 2 TCR, whereas those of the decidua use the Vδ 1 chain. These subpopulations are functionally polarized, the former being Th1, the latter Th2. Potentially cytotoxic Vδ2+ lymphocytes recognize HLA-E on the trophoblast via the CD94/NKG2A receptor, which induces an inhibitory signal, thus potentially inhibiting Th1 type cytokine production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001



  • Cytokines
  • KIR
  • Non-polymorphic HLA
  • Trophoblast
  • γ/δ TCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this