The immunology of successful pregnancy

A.L. Veenstra van Nieuwenhoven, MJ Heineman, MM Faas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

190 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Immune responses play an important role in various reproductive processes, including ovulation, menstruation and parturition. Clearly, during pregnancy, when the mother must accept a semi-allogeneic fetus, immune responses also play a very important role. This was first recognized by Medawar in 1953, when the concept of the fetal allograft was presented in order to explain the immunological relationship between mother and fetus. Since then, the immunology of pregnancy has been the leading subject within reproductive immunology research. Yet, the question of why the semi-allogeneic fetus is not rejected by the mother remains unresolved. The present review provides an update of current knowledge on the subject of the so-called 'immunological paradox of pregnancy'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Reproduction Update
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2003

Keywords

  • cytokines
  • decidua
  • leukocytes
  • pregnancy
  • trophoblast
  • NATURAL-KILLER-CELLS
  • LARGE GRANULAR LYMPHOCYTES
  • LEUKEMIA INHIBITORY FACTOR
  • RECURRENT SPONTANEOUS-ABORTION
  • COLONY-STIMULATING FACTOR
  • HUMAN FIRST TRIMESTER
  • HLA-G EXPRESSION
  • FLOW-CYTOMETRIC CHARACTERIZATION
  • HUMAN EXTRAVILLOUS TROPHOBLAST
  • PERIPHERAL-BLOOD LYMPHOCYTES

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