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Centre for Trophoblast Research



Research summary

The maternal immune system mediates key adaptations necessary for successful pregnancy, but do pregnancy complications affect immune system development in the offspring? Most components of our immune system develop during the intrauterine period. Jens’ research focusses on how common pregnancy complications, especially those linked to defective placentation, impinge on fetal immune development.

A strong immune system is key for the survival of neonates and may also lay the foundation for healthy adulthood. By better understanding the mechanisms that link intrauterine development and immunity, we aim to define special requirements new-borns from complicated pregnancies have.

Jens’ approach focusses on flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, stereology and confocal microscopy.

My mentor is Dr Francesco Colucci and we work in close collaboration with Ashley Moffett.

[1] Madeja Z, Yadi H, Apps R, Boulenouar S, Roper SJ, et al. (2011) Paternal MHC expression on mouse trophoblast affects uterine vascularization and fetal growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Published online before print February 7.

[2] Hiby SE, Apps R, Sharkey AM, Farrell LE, Gardner L, et al. (2010) Maternal activating KIRs protect against human reproductive failure mediated by fetal HLA-C2. J Clin Invest 120: 4102-4110.


Key publications: 


Key Publications

Jens Kieckbusch, Elisa Balmas, Delia A Hawkes, Francesco Colucci. Disrupted PI3K p110δ Signaling Dysregulates Maternal Immune Cells and Increases Fetal Mortality In Mice. Cell Reports. 2015.

Kieckbusch J, Gaynor LM, Colucci F. Assessment of maternal vascular remodeling during pregnancy in the mouse uterus. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), e53534-e53534. 2015

Jean-Marc Doisne, Elisa Balmas, Selma Boulenouar, Louise M Gaynor, Jens Kieckbusch et al. Composition, Development, and Function of Uterine Innate Lymphoid Cells. The Journal of Immunology 195 (8), 3937-3945

Colucci F and Kieckbusch JMaternal uterine natural killer cells nurture fetal growth: in medio stat virtus. Trends in Molecular Medicine. 2015 21 (2). 60-67. 

Kieckbusch J, Gaynor LM, Moffett A, Colucci F. MHC-dependent inhibition of uterine NK cells impedes fetal growth and decidual vascular remodelling. Nature Communications. 2014 5:3359. DOI 10.1038/ncomms4359

Colucci F, Boulenouar S, Kieckbusch J, Moffett A. How does variability of immune system genes affect placentation? Placenta. 2011 Aug;32(8):539-45.

Other Publications

Walters SB, Kieckbusch J, Nagalingam G, Swain A, Latham SL, Grau GE, Britton WJ, Combes V, Saunders BM. Microparticles from mycobacteria-infected macrophages promote inflammation and cellular migration. The Journal of Immunology. 2013 190 (2), 669-677.

Former CTR Graduate Student and Next Generation Fellow
 Jens  Kieckbusch
Not available for consultancy