NKp44 and NKp30 splice variant profiles have been shown to promote diverse cellular functions. Moreover, microenvironment factors such as TGF-β, IL-15 and IL-18 are able to influence both NKp44 and NKp30 splice variant profiles, leading to cytokineassociated profiles. Placenta and cancerous tissues have many similarities; both are immunologically privileged sites and both share immune tolerance mechanisms to support tissue development. Therefore, we studied the profiles of NKp44 and NKp30 splice variants in these states by comparing (i) decidua from pregnancy disorder and healthy gestation and (ii) matched normal and cancer tissue. Decidua samples had high incidence of both NKp44 and NKp30. In cancerous state it was different; while NKp30 expression was evident in most cancerous and matched normal tissues, NKp44 incidence was lower and was mostly associated with the cancerous tissues. A NKp44-1dominant inhibitory profile predominated in healthy pregnancy gestation. Interestingly, the NKp44-2/3 activation profile becomes the leading profile in spontaneous abortions, whereas balanced NKp44 profiles were observed in preeclampsia. In contrast, a clear preference for the NKp30a/b profile was evident in the 1st trimester decidua, yet no significant differences were observed for NKp30 profiles between healthy gestation and spontaneous abortions/preeclampsia. Both cancerous and matched normal tissues manifested balanced NKp30c inhibitory and NKp30a/b activation profiles with a NKp44-1dominant profile. However, a shift in NKp30 profiles between matched normal and cancer tissue was observed in half of the cases. To summarize, NKp44 and NKp30 splice variants profiles are tissue/condition specific and demonstrate similarity between placenta and cancerous tissues.
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