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Thread: NK cells

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    91

    Default NK cells

    Hi Dr. Coulam. I am still trying to wrap my head around this NK cells information.
    For testing the percentage of NK cells I had the CD 56 and CD16 test.
    This test determines the PERCENTAGE of killer cells, correct?
    Then the NK assay tests the ACTIVITY killing power, correct?
    If anyone has over 10-12% they may need treatment.
    When someone becomes pregnant, what do you suggest testing?
    Both activity and percentage?
    Also, I have normal NK cells and assay (7.8%) but on my NK assay from your lab, when it was treated with IVIG it only lowered it to 6.8%. Is this a normal reaction to normal levels.
    I am concerned if my NK activity goes up while pregnant (I have low LAD and 50% HLA DQ) that IVIG won't supress my NK activity.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    677

    Default

    You are correct about percentage of cells that are NK and NK activity. When suppressing NK activity, on can only suppress it to within normal range. Your tests are fine. There is no reason to suggust that if your NK cell activity increases during pregnancy that it cannot be suppressed. Dr. Coulam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    91

    Default

    So if someone has normal NKs before pregnancy, they cannot be "activated" during pregnancy and cause a loss? I read (on a RE's blog) that the problem with HLA DQ match is that if the embryo matches my husband's and mine's genotype, my body with believe its a altered form of myself and attack it via killer cells like a cancer? So if the embryo had this match, my NKs could not go up? And what scares me about that is that the NKs could, once activated by this match, attack any other embryo (I have only 3 left) causing all embryos to fail.
    And the fact that I do not have antibodies to my husband's leukocytes creates the same situation where my body will see the embryo an altered form of myself and send out NKs to attack it. I plan on LIT for this.
    Do you think NKs do not need to be checked once pregnant (if they are normal pre-pregnancy) to see if they have elevated?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    677

    Default

    No, Nk cells that are normal before pregnancy can be activated during pregnancy. If they are activated they should be alble to be supressed to normal levels with treatment. It is not surprising that normal NK levels are not suppressed to subnormal levels in the NK assay. Dr. Coulam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me and all the other women! You have helped me so much and I feel ready to go the next step and prepare for a FET. It feels really good to be informed of what I need to look out for and hope that it improves my chances of success. I hope that pregnancy #5 will end with the happy ending I have been longing for.
    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    677

    Default

    You are welcome. Im keeping my fingers crossed for you. Dr. Coulam

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