Emerging Questions in Materno-Fetal Microchimerism
RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology, Japan
- Corresponding Author:
- Naoki Irie
RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology
Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology, Japan
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: September 28, 2011; Accepted Date: November 16, 2011; Published Date: November 18, 2011
Citation: Irie N (2011) Emerging Questions in Materno-Fetal Microchimerism. Reproductive Sys Sexual Disord S1:002. doi: 10.4172/2161-038X.S1-002
Copyright: © 2011 Irie N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Materno-fetal microchimerism is a common, life-long chimeric state first established by the exchange of small numbers of cells between the mother and the fetus during pregnancy. This apparently trivial phenomenon is now attracting attention due to its unexpected and profound implications in the immune system. For example, is the placenta really an immunological barrier? How do we balance the internal environment despite the existence of an immunological non-self? In this review, I will discuss the pros and cons of materno-fetal microchimerism for our immune system (e.g., tolerance, materno-fetal immune disease, tissue regeneration, etc.) and the unanswered, puzzling aspects of microchimerism from the immunological point of view.