JAN 27, 2021 9:00 AM PST

Uterine B cell dynamics during pregnancy - Immune regulation of the placenta

Speaker
  • PhD candidate, Radboud Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
    Biography

      Benner is a 4th year PhD candidate at the Radboud Institute of Molecular Life Science in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She gained hands-on experience at the lab of Dr. Tamara Tilburgs and Prof. Jack Strominger at the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. Her work within the Reproductive Immunology group of Dr. Renate van der Molen is focused on endometrial immunity and lymphocytes implicated in correct implantation and placentation.


    Abstract

    DATE: January 27, 2021

    TIME:  9am PST

     

    Well-timed interaction of correctly functioning maternal immune cells is essential to facilitate healthy placenta formation, as the uterine immune environment has to tolerate the semi-allogeneic fetus, and allow for adequate trophoblast invasion. Impaired induction or function of any counterpart in this tug-of-war at the fetal-maternal interface can be detrimental for mother and child. Various studies focusing on a particular cell type at specific gestational time points underline that local immunity changes during pregnancy. Little is known on the uterine dynamics of B cells. Here, we assessed the uterine immune signature before and during pregnancy using menstrual blood-derived lymphocytes and lymphocytes isolated from decidua of 1st trimester, 2nd trimester, and term placentae. Extensive supervised and unsupervised flow cytometry clustering strategies not only showed a general increase in immune memory throughout pregnancy, but also revealed continuous presence of B cells. In-depth unsupervised analysis revealed decidual B cell subsets absent in peripheral blood. Decidual B cells produced IL-10 and were found to be localized in clusters, together with Foxp3pos T cells. Contradicting the notion that B cells are merely a consequence of uterine pathology, our findings suggest an as yet undisclosed role in healthy pregnancy.

     

    Learning objectives:

    • Explain the concept of reproductive immunology
    • List the value of supervised vs unsupervised flow cytometry analysis
    • Describe the dynamics of B cells within the uterus

     

     

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