Int. J. Dev. Biol. 35: 275 - 278 (1991)
© UPV/EHU Press

Immunoregulatory factors contributing to fetal allograft survival.

D Rukavina, M Kapovic and A Radojcic

Department of Physiology and Immunology, University of Rijeka, Medical Faculty, Republic of Croatia, Yugoslavia.

ABSTRACT A mammalian fetus expresses a variety of antigens potentially unknown to the immunologically competent mother. Presented here are the results of investigations of maternal immune reactivity to paternally derived antigens of fetoplacental unit, detected at various levels: 1) spleen and distant lymphatic organs, 2) regional lymph nodes draining uterus, and 3) materno-fetal interface. The results suggest that the mother's immune system reacts differently in semiallogeneic pregnancies than in syngeneic ones. The type of the systemic immune response depends on the stage of pregnancy. Increased percentage of CD8+ cells and decreased CD4+/CD8+ cell ratio was found in distant and regional lymphatic organs during pregnancy. The paternal class I MHC antigens expressed on the trophoblast cells are nonpolymorphic molecules which can have a role in immunotrophism of the placenta and in fetal allograft protection.