<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 4, Issue 4, December 2008

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The impact of fetal cells persistence in maternal organism

D. Nemescu, M. Onofriescu

Abstract: Fetal cells usually migrate in the maternal circulation during pregnancy and persist for decades after delivery of the fetus. The mother becomes microchimeric. This transfer starts early during first trimester and is increased by placental abnormalities or a reproductive history like miscarriage or elective termination of pregnancy. During pregnancy, the mother acquires fetal cells with stem-cell-like proprieties, named pregnancy-associated progenitor cells. These cells disappear quickly from maternal circulation and persist in maternal stem cell niche like bone marrow. Then, in the case of tissue injury, they are recruited to the site of injury, differentiate, adopt the maternal local tissue phenotype and participate in maternal tissue repair processes. Microchimerism has a protective effect on some hepatic or thyroid diseases and in breast neoplasm. Understanding of this phenomenon could have a major impact on fetal stem cells applications in regenerative treatments, transplant and gene therapy.
Keywords: fetal cells, pregnancy, microchimerism, prenatal diagnosis, stem cells, pregnancy-associated progenitor cells

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