PROBLEM The aim of this study was to investigate the phenotype and commitment of decidual haematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) in healthy pregnant women and in women with early miscarriage. METHOD OF STUDY Peripheral blood and decidual tissue from healthy and pathological pregnant women were examined for HPCs and lymphoid progenitors using flow cytometric analysis. RESULTS Compared with peripheral blood, we found a significant increase in decidual HPCs in both healthy pregnant women and women with spontaneous abortion. T/NK, natural killer (NK), gamma-delta and NKT cell progenitors were identified in all peripheral blood and decidual samples. In pathologic pregnant women, the ratios of decidual T/NK and NK cell progenitors were significantly increased compared with healthy pregnant controls. CONCLUSION We demonstrated decidual cells with haematopoietic progenitor cell phenotype in human decidua. Increased levels of NK progenitors in the decidua of women with early spontaneous abortion suggest a dysregulation of this pathway that may contribute to pregnancy failure.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.