The effect of fetal gender on the maternal immune system during pregnancy.

reproductive immunology placenta fetal gender

J.R. Prins
A. Laskewitza

Nature of the research:
Immunology research in human placental tissue.

Fields of study:
immunology medical biology obstetrics

Background / introduction
Epidemiologic studies show that carrying a male fetus is associated with an increased risk of pregnancy complications. Amongst these pregnancy complications are immune-mediated diseases like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus.
However, the mechanisms responsible for the association between fetal sex and pregnancy outcome are not known and altered immune activation could be involved. A possible pathway could be minor histocompatibility antigens (mHags). The maternal immune system is activated by antigens, like these minor histocompatibility antigens, interestingly twelve of these mHags are encoded by the Y-chromosome (HY). The mechanisms on how and whether HY or fetal sex influences macrophages, Tregs and memory T-cells at decidual tissues (maternal side of the placenta) are not known.
Research question / problem definition
In this study we aim to address the effect of fetal gender on maternal T-cells and macrophages in decidual tissue of healthy primigravid term pregnancies.
In this project we will continue to include placentas from healthy primigravid term pregnancies. Next to this, biopsies of decidual tissue and small amounts of T-cells and macrophages are stored. Using flowcytometry, immunohistochemistry and rt-PCR, these samples will be analyzed.
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Kieffer TEC, Laskewitz A, Faas MM, Scherjon SA, Erwich JHM, Gordijn SJ, Prins JR.
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Holland OJ, Linscheid C, Hodes HC, Nauser TL, Gilliam M, Stone P, et al. Minor Histocompatibility Antigens Are Expressed in Syncytiotrophoblast and Trophoblast Debris Implications for Maternal Alloreactivity to the Fetus. AJPA. 2012;180(1):256–66.
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Laatst gewijzigd: 23 februari 2012