The yin-yang factor

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Re : The yin-yang factor

Post by caryn » Fri Jul 16, 2010 00:14 am

Beth, I assume that means that women with a history of PE have more microchimerism than those without when they get around to screening us for autoimmune diseases using this particular technique.

We have more fetal cells in our bloodstreams during pregnancy as well.

One possible explanation for it is that the maternal immune response to the implanting trophoblast isn't strong enough in some PE cases -- because the paternal proteins don't fit the maternal receptors -- and the rest of the implantation cannot work correctly without that robust response. So maybe we don't stop them at the uterine lining and they merrily head into the bloodstream. Or maybe the increased fetal cells are a strategy for modulating immune response after placentation has already gone awry, a paternal strategy to prolong pregnancy by making the target more diffuse or something like that.

Re : The yin-yang factor

Post by beth11 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 02:11 pm

Very cool and head-exploding, indeed.

As a mother who lost two children to preeclampsia, and who now has a living child, I was particularly drawn to the statement:
"Cells of one child, circulating in the mother’s blood, might become a lifelong part of younger siblings."

But Caryn - on the preeclampsia part -- It said that "women with pre-eclampsia. . had five times the microchimerism of healthy women." Do you take that to mean at the time of diagnosis? (In otherwords, perhaps the condition contributed to the development of preeclampsia.) Or longer-term, after the preeclamptic pregnancy?

Wild stuff.

Re : The yin-yang factor

Post by jamilyn » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:36 am

Thank you for sharing, that is so interesting... I have been told many times I probably have an auto-immune disease but the few I have been tested for have come back negative.

Re : The yin-yang factor

Post by sam10 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:15 pm

This is very fascinating! Thanks for sharing Caryn. I wonder what kind of mix I am....and what contributes to what and how and why....

Re : The yin-yang factor

Post by jenprzygoda » Tue Jul 13, 2010 06:36 pm

Thanks for sharing. While the implications are awful, chimeras are a really interesting concept. There was a great episode of RadioLab on NPR a year or two ago about a woman who is a chimera. It is believed that she had a twin that never developed and some of her cells are actually genetically those of the undeveloped twin. The bio teacher in me loves this stuff. Thanks!

Re : The yin-yang factor

Post by caryn » Tue Jul 13, 2010 05:06 pm

Female cells too -- it's just that they look for it at first by looking for male cells because those are easier to detect, 'cause you just look for the Y chromosome.

But I probably have some of Oscar's cells in me, and Oscar probably has some of my cells in him... plus I probably have some of *my* mom's cells in me... and these might not only contribute to autoimmune diseases and cancer, but might be actively *combating* autoimmune diseases and cancer. Some of them stay as fetal stem cells, which can turn into any kind of cell, even after they are in your bloodstream. They talk about one woman whose entire thyroid was male cells -- presumably from one of her sons, or at least from a pregnancy with a male embryo/fetus before miscarriage -- that had changed from stem cells into thyroid cells and were sitting there cheerfully producing thyroid hormone...

*head explode*

Re : The yin-yang factor

Post by breannesmith55 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 03:48 pm

wow thats some crazyness. what I got from that is that we can carry male cells from our mothers, older siblings, even granparents which can cause confusion in our body, possibly causing cancer, autoimmune diseases, pre e, etc. is that right or did i read it wrong?

The yin-yang factor

Post by caryn » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:49 am

Other researchers found that women with pre-eclampsia, which causes high blood pressure in late pregnancy and can kill both mother and child, had five times the microchimerism of healthy women. Fetal cells, it turned out, are complex characters.

If you weren't already sure that this was a really complex problem, reading this article will confirm it. :)

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