Pregnancy outcome affected by immune system genes

Oct 25, 2010

A team of researchers, led by Ashley Moffett, at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, has shed new light on genetic factors that increase susceptibility to and provide protection from common disorders of pregnancy, specifically recurrent miscarriage, preeclampsia, and fetal growth restriction.

A key step in the initiation of a successful pregnancy is the invasion of the lining of the uterus by fetal cells known as trophoblasts, which become the main cell type of the placenta. Recurrent miscarriage, preeclampsia, and fetal growth restriction are thought to result from inadequate trophoblast invasion of the uterus lining.

Interactions between maternal cells known as uterine NK cells and fetal trophoblasts — specifically interactions between HLA-C molecules on the fetal trophoblasts and KIRs on the maternal uterine NK cells — are key to determining the extent of trophoblast invasion.

Previous data from Moffett's lab indicated that a particular combination of fetal HLA-C and maternal KIR was associated with increased risk of preeclampsia. In this study, the team has extended this correlation to recurrent miscarriage and fetal growth restriction. Furthermore, they have determined that the presence of other maternal KIRs that combine with the same HLA-C molecule provides protection against the same common disorders of .

In an accompanying commentary, Peter Parham and Lisbeth Guethlein, at Stanford University, discuss the importance of these data and how they might explain distinct immune system gene expression patterns in different populations.

Explore further: US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

More information: View this article at: www.jci.org/articles/view/43998?key=cfb4e33703c44a22516f

Provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers identify key contributor to pre-eclampsia

Sep 04, 2009

A new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine reveals a key component in the development of preeclampsia in pregnant women, a condition that can result in miscarriage and maternal death.

Maternal exposure to folic acid antagonists increases risks

Dec 01, 2008

Exposure to folic acid antagonists during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of placenta-mediated adverse outcomes such as preeclampsia, placental abruption, fetal growth restriction or fetal death reports a retrospective ...

Study finds higher risk of stillbirth in women with fibroids

Feb 06, 2010

In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will unveil findings that show that there is an increased risk of intrauterine ...

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

Apr 17, 2014

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.