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During the early weeks of human pregnancy, the fetal placenta implants into the uterine mucosa (decidua) where placental trophoblast cells intermingle and communicate with maternal cells. Here, we profile transcriptomes of ~50,000 single cells from this unique microenvironment, sampling matched first trimester maternal blood and decidua, and fetal cells from the placenta itself. We define the cellular composition of human decidua, revealing five distinct subsets of decidual fibroblasts with differing growth factors and hormone production profiles, and show that fibroblast states define two distinct decidual layers. Among decidual NK cells, we resolve three subsets, each with a different immunomodulatory and chemokine profile. We develop a repository of ligand-receptor pairs (www.CellPhoneDB.org) and a statistical tool to predict the probability of cell-cell interactions via these pairs, highlighting specific interactions between decidual NK cells and invading fetal extravillous trophoblast cells, maternal immune and stromal cells. Our single cell atlas of the maternal-fetal interface reveals the cellular organization and interactions critical for placentation and reproductive success.

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  • Downloaded 3,170 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 1,059 out of 66,973
    • In developmental biology: 15 out of 1,987
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