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Chimeric Maternal Cells with Tissue-Specific Antigen Expression and Morphology are Common in Infant Tissues.

Stevens, Anne M. and Hermes, Heidi M. and Kiefer, Meghan M. and Rutledge, Joe C. and Nelson, J. Lee (2009) Chimeric Maternal Cells with Tissue-Specific Antigen Expression and Morphology are Common in Infant Tissues. Pediatric and developmental pathology : the official journal of the Society for Pediatric Pathology and the Paediatric Pathology Society, 12 (5). pp. 337-346. ISSN 1093-5266

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Maternal microchimerism (MMc) has been purported to play a role in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity, but how a small number of foreign cells could contribute to chronic, systemic inflammation has not been explained. Reports of peripheral blood cells differentiating into tissue-specific cell types may shed light on the problem in that chimeric maternal cells could act as target cells within tissues. We investigated MMc in tissues from seven male infants. Female cells, presumed maternal, were characterized by simultaneous immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization for X- and Y-chromosomes. Maternal cells constituted 0.017 to 1.9% of parenchymal cells and were found in all infants in liver, pancreas, lung, kidney, bladder, skin, and spleen. Maternal cells were differentiated: maternal hepatocytes in liver, renal tubular cells in kidney, and beta-islet cells in pancreas. Maternal cells were not found in areas of tissue injury or inflammatory infiltrate. Maternal hematopoietic cells were found only in hearts from patients with neonatal lupus. Thus, differentiated maternal cells are present in multiple tissue types and occur independently of inflammation or tissue injury. Loss of tolerance to maternal parenchymal cells could lead to organ-specific "auto" inflammatory disease and elimination of maternal cells in areas of inflammation.

Item Type: Article or Abstract
Additional Information: This article is available to subscribers only via the URL above.
DOI: 10.2350/08-07-0499.1
PubMed ID: 18939886
PMCID: PMC2783488
Grant Numbers: R01 AI041721, R01 AI045659
Keywords or MeSH Headings: Cell Differentiation; Chimera; *Chimerism/embryology; Chromosomes, Human, X; Chromosomes, Human, Y; Female; Humans; Immunohistochemistry; In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Male; Maternal-Fetal Exchange/genetics; Pregnancy; Stem Cells/*cytology/immunology;
Subjects: Diseases > Autoimmune
Cell Types > Stem Cells
Cellular and Organismal Processes > Cell Physiology > Cell differentiation
Depositing User: Library Staff
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2010 00:17
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2012 14:42

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