Biol. Stud. 2019: 13(2); 11–20 • DOI:


B. V. Dons’koi


Natural killer’s cytotoxicity test accepted as a “gold standard“ for measuring natural killer’s function. However it is methodologically difficult for introduction in routine diagnos­tic practice. In our previous study, we showed a prognostic clinical significance of immune parameters when they are out of a optimal range (accentuated). In contrast, balan­ced “not accentuated” immune parameters associated with favorable clinical outcome. In this study, we attempted to explain the disparity of the accentuated but immunologically normal natural killer’s parameters that might serve as negative clinical prognostical biomar­kers indicative of failed pregnancies. We have analyzed number natural killers %, their cytotoxicity, and their reciprocal correlation in 8,664 patients with reproductive failures. We found an elevated natural killer’s cytotoxicity in a significant part of infertility population. An elevated natural killer’s cytotoxicity was significantly more often registered in patient with multiple reproductive failures (41.6 %) detected in patients with uncomplicated infertility (18.7 %). In the entire clinical population, % of natural killers correlates with their cytotoxicity. Interestingly, we found this correlation was strongly dependent on status of natural killer’s levels. Natural killer’s % – natural killer’s cytotoxi­city correlation was strongest (r = 0.2021, p < 0.0001) in patients’ group with high amount of natural killers % (> 17.5 %). Patients with amount of natural killers % between 15–17.5 % manifested lo­wer but significant correlation of natural killer’s % – natural killer’s cytotoxicity (r = 0.1213, p = 0.0155). Additionally, a significant correlation (r = 0.2689, < < 0.0001) between natu­ral killer’s % and natural killer’s cytotoxicity was observed in patients group with natu­ral killer’s levels of < 7 % (1.7–7.3 %). While, patient groups with natural killer’s % (7.3–15 %) did not demonstrate correlation of natural killer’s % – natural killer’s cytotoxi­city. Consistent with our hypothesis, the “balanced zone” of natural killer’s % is tightly controlled and, thus, does not correlate directly with cytotoxicity. In contrast, the “accentuated zones” of natural killer’s % escape this control and directly affected cytotoxicity.


Keywords: natural killer lymphocytes, cytotoxicity, immune accentuation, in vitro fertilization failure, recurrent miscarriages

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