pregancy / immune modulation

John J. Ladasky II ladasky at
Mon May 3 12:05:04 EST 1993

In article <1993May2.192649.1 at>,
jfharr01 at writes:
>	Does anyone care to answer this question:  if an embryo is implanted
>into the uterus of a female, why are the alloantigens not recognized by the
>recipient's immune system?  Does the embryo produce proteins that somehow
>modulate the immune system of the woman until implantation can occur?  When 
>the embryo continues to develop, and there is an exchange of proteins and 
>cells between mother and embryo, why then doesn't the mother's immune system 
>attack?  If her immune system is somehow modulated, does this not then 
>diminish the effectiveness of her immune system, thus compromising it a bit?  
>Thank you for any response.   
>   _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/    _/  John F. Harris -- Computer Consultant

	This is not my area of expertise, but you get my $.02 anyway!

	Aren't there a few documented cases of a maternal immune system
identifying an embryo or fetus as foreign matter, and rejecting it?  If I
remember the phenomenon correctly, the symptoms are like graft-vs.-host
disease.  Obviously, this is something that only happens in a dysfunctional

	Also, I remember a recent study that demonstrated that pregnancy
does in fact result in a compromised immune system on the part of the mother.
The immunocompromised state lasts several months after birth.  The paper
noted that mothers who bear several children in succession were much more
likely to be sick than mothers who "took breaks."

	Sorry for the lack of citations - I'll try to track them down if 
anyone is really interested.

== John J. Ladasky II ("ii") ========================= ladasky at netcom.COM ==
"Great composers do not borrow -	     "Talking about music is like
 they steal."  - John Ladasky	      ~ -     dancing about architecture."
(quote stolen from Stravinsky, who    o o     - Elvis Costello?  Laurie
 stole it from a statement made by     >        Anderson?  Frank Zappa?
 Pablo Picasso about painting, who    \_/    -------------------------------
 stole it from...)			     "Property is theft." - Groucho
"A man w/o charity in his heart - what has he to do with music?" - Confucius

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