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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 8010961, 15 pages
Research Article

Maternal Adaptive Immune Cells in Decidua Parietalis Display a More Activated and Coinhibitory Phenotype Compared to Decidua Basalis

1Division of Therapeutic Immunology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, 14186 Stockholm, Sweden
2Center for Fetal Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
3Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
4Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
5Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
6Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden

Correspondence should be addressed to Martin Solders; es.ik@sredlos.nitram and Helen Kaipe; es.ik@epiak.neleh

Received 30 June 2017; Revised 29 August 2017; Accepted 14 September 2017; Published 29 November 2017

Academic Editor: Mohamed Abumaree

Copyright © 2017 Martin Solders et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The maternal part of the placenta, the decidua, consists of maternal immune cells, decidual stromal cells, and extravillous fetal trophoblasts. In a successful pregnancy, these cell compartments interact to provide an intricate balance between fetal tolerance and antimicrobial defense. These processes are still poorly characterized in the two anatomically different decidual tissues, basalis and parietalis. We examined immune cells from decidua basalis and parietalis from term placentas () with flow cytometry. By using multivariate discriminant analysis, we found a clear separation between the two decidual compartments based on the 81 investigated parameters. Decidua parietalis lymphocytes displayed a more activated phenotype with a higher expression of coinhibitory markers than those isolated from basalis and contained higher frequencies of T regulatory cells. Decidua basalis contained higher proportions of monocytes, B cells, and mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. The basalis B cells were more immature, and parietalis MAIT cells showed a more activated phenotype. Conventional T cells, NK cells, and MAIT cells from both compartments potently responded with the production of interferon-γ and/or cytotoxic molecules in response to stimulation. To conclude, leukocytes in decidua basalis and parietalis displayed remarkable phenotypic disparities, indicating that the corresponding stromal microenvironments provide different immunoregulatory signals.