The role of invariant NKT cells in pre-eclampsia

Eva Miko, Laszlo Szereday, Aliz Barakonyi, Andrea Jarkovich, Peter Varga, Julia Szekeres-Bartho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Problem: Recent data suggest a dominant role of the innate, rather than the adaptive immune system in pregnancy-related immunoregulation. Invariant NKT (iNKT) cells represent a link between the innate and the acquired immune systems; however, little is known about how they function in pre-eclampsia. The aim of our study was to investigate the possible role of iNKT cells in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia. Method of study: Human peripheral blood samples were obtained from pre-eclamptic, healthy pregnant- and non-pregnant women. Freshly separated peripheral blood mononuclear cells were immediately labeled with anti-perforin-, anti-CD69-, anti-CD95-, anti-NKG2A-, anti-NKG2D-, anti-IFN-γ and anti iNKT antibodies and analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: Pre-eclamptic patients demonstrated increased CD69, perforin and IFN-γ expression, which could be explained by dysregulation of NK cell receptor expression. These Th1 polarized cells were less susceptible to apoptosis than iNKT cells from healthy pregnant women. Conclusion: Our data suggest that activated iNKT cells of pre-eclamptic women have an increased cytotoxic potential, which may be because of altered expression of NK cell inhibitory and activating receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2008



  • Human
  • NK cell receptors
  • NKT cells
  • Pre-eclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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