Regulatory T cells decrease invariant natural killer T cell-mediated pregnancy loss in mice.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Pregnancy loss is the commonest complication of pregnancy. The causes of pregnancy loss are poorly understood. It has been reported that stimulation of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells using α-galactosylceramide (αGC) induces pregnancy loss in mice. Here we investigated the mechanisms, especially the role of regulatory T (Treg) cells, in iNKT cell-mediated pregnancy loss. We found that injection of αGC rapidly induced fetal resorption, activated decidual iNKT cells, decreased the percentage of decidual Treg cells and their interleukin (IL)-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β production, and upregulated the levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-4, and IL-10 in serum. Adoptive transfer of iNKT cells from wild-type (WT) and IL-4-/- mice but not IFN-γ-/- mice into αGC-treated iNKT cell-deficient Jα18-/- mice restored αGC-induced pregnancy loss. Adoptive transfer of Treg cells downregulated α-GC-induced pregnancy loss in WT mice. Finally, co-culture with αGC-stimulated decidual iNKT cells decreased the production of IL-10 and TGF-β in decidual Treg cells and inhibited their suppressive activity. These findings suggest that activation of iNKT cells induces pregnancy loss in mice in an IFN-γ-dependent manner. In addition, inhibition of the function of decidual Treg cells has an important role in iNKT cell-mediated pregnancy loss.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, L; Tu, J; Jiang, Y; Zhou, J; Schust, DJ

Published Date

  • May 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 613 - 623

PubMed ID

  • 27706127

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1935-3456

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/mi.2016.84


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States