NYTimes: Transfer of Mother’s Cells Molds Baby’s I

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NYTimes: Transfer of Mother’s Cells Molds Baby’s I

Postby caryn » Tue Jul 07, 2009 09:59 am

...The San Francisco team also observed that regulatory T cells, a particular type of immune cell, were present in large numbers in the fetal lymph nodes. Regulatory T cells typically act to suppress immune responses. In a pregnant woman, for instance, these cells may help to prevent the immune system from treating the fetus as foreign and attacking it.

The scientists wondered whether a symmetrical mechanism might be at work in the fetus. “We wanted to get at what was inducing these cells to proliferate and what role they were playing specifically in fetal tissue,” said Jeff E. Mold, an immunology graduate student at U.C.S.F.

The group was able to demonstrate that cells from the mother directly cause fetal tissue to produce more regulatory T cells. These, in turn, help keep the fetal immune system from attacking the mother’s cells...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/healt ... 3immu.html

Heh. So, more reason to think that this is *way* too messy to try to shut down with immunoregulatory drugs. :-)

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