Preferential histoincompatible pregnancies and efficient fetal development by an active selective immune response of the female have to occur concomitantly in order to ensure the propagation of mammalian species. A compromise solution between phylogeny and ontogeny, with respect to transplantation antigens, would be the deviation of the maternal anti-fetal immune response towards an active protective reaction. To accomplish this the fetus will have to express during its development MHC-encoded molecules which, either because of their unique intrinsic molecular structure or because of their association with specific fetal membrane-associated products, will lead to different and mainly enhancing immunogenic interactions with the immune system of the mammalian female. Such interactions may be facilitated by a variety of regulatory products induced during pregnancy. A better understanding of the possibly unique way of immune response of females against 'modified self' antigens, as suggested above, may contribute to our understanding of a longstanding fact, namely, the increased frequency of autoimmune diseases in females.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 1980|
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