Human leukocyte antigen-G, a ligand for the natural killer receptor KIR2DL4, is expressed by eutopic endometrium only in the menstrual phase

Masaaki Kawashima, Nagamasa Maeda, Yoshihiro Adachi, Tamotsu Takeuchi, Yorito Yamamoto, Chiaki Izumiya, Kazutoshi Hayashi, Mutsuo Furihata, Keiko Udaka, Takao Fukaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To investigate menstrual cycle changes in expression by eutopic endometrium of a nonclassic human leukocyte antigen, HLA-G, which binds to the killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) 2DL4 (CD158d) on natural killer (NK) cells. Such antigens have been linked to endometriosis. Design: Case-control study. Setting: University hospital. Patient(s): We examined 20 Japanese women undergoing hysterectomy for endometriosis and 17 undergoing hysterectomy for myoma. Intervention(s): Immunohistochemical HLA-G staining of eutopic endometrium and peritoneal fluid (PF) cells from women with and without endometriosis. Flow cytometric analysis of PF NK cells from women with and without endometriosis. Main Outcome Measure(s): HLA-G staining in eutopic endometrium was quantified by image analysis. The KIR2DL4-expressing NK cells in PF were investigated by flow cytometry. Result(s): The HLA-G was expressed by eutopic endometrium only in the menstrual phase and not in the late proliferative or secretory endometrium. Intensity of HLA-G staining did not differ significantly between women with and without endometriosis. The HLA-G- expressing cells were detected in PF during the menstrual period. These cells are morphologically and flow cytometrically different from mesothelial cells and NK cells. Conclusion(s): The HLA-G expression is observed in eutopic endometrium only during the menstrual phase, and no differences were observed between women with and without endometriosis. Epithelial cells bearing HLA-G may enter the peritoneal cavity during retrograde menstruation, allowing the antigen to react locally with KIR2DL4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and sterility
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Endometriosis
  • eutopic endometrium
  • human leukocyte antigen-G
  • killer immunoglobulin-like receptor
  • natural killer cell
  • retrograde menstruation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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