Maternal reactivity to fetal alloantigens is related to newborn immune responses and subsequent allergic disease

Prescott, S. L., Taylor, A., Roper, J., Wahdan, A., Noakes, P., Thornton, C., Dunstan, J. and Upham, J. W. (2005) Maternal reactivity to fetal alloantigens is related to newborn immune responses and subsequent allergic disease. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 35 4: 417-425. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2005.02171.x

Author Prescott, S. L.
Taylor, A.
Roper, J.
Wahdan, A.
Noakes, P.
Thornton, C.
Dunstan, J.
Upham, J. W.
Title Maternal reactivity to fetal alloantigens is related to newborn immune responses and subsequent allergic disease
Journal name Clinical and Experimental Allergy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2222
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2005.02171.x
Volume 35
Issue 4
Start page 417
End page 425
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Science
Language eng
Subject 110701 Allergy
110704 Cellular Immunology
Abstract Background: Maternal allergy confers stronger allergy risk (than paternal allergy) suggesting that maternal patterns of immune response can directly influence immune development in offspring. Women prone to allergic immune responses to allergens may also have altered immune responses to other antigens including fetal antigens. Objective: This exploratory study examines relationships between maternal immune responses to fetal antigens and the subsequent risk of allergy. Methods: Mononuclear cells (MNC) were collected from 36 mother–infant pairs to compare maternal (and fetal) cellular immune responses to alloantigens (fetal, maternal or unrelated donor [URD]), and allergens in allergic (18 pairs) and non-allergic (18 pairs) mothers. Thirty children had documented allergic outcomes at 6 years of age. Results: In this population, allergic outcomes in the offspring were associated more strongly with materno-fetal immune interactions than with a maternal family history of allergy. Specifically, allergic disease at 6 years of age was associated with significantly higher maternal responses to fetal alloantigens (lymphoproliferation, P50.008; IL-13, P50.02 and IFN-g, P50.015), whereas associations with maternal allergy did not reach significance (P50.07). Fetal IFN-g alloantigen responses were significantly correlated with the degree of human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) mismatch (maternal HLA class II antibodies) (t50.3, P50.03). The capacity of the fetus to produce IL-13 (t50.4, P50.001) and IL-10 (t50.3, P50.029) was directly related to the level of these cytokines produced by the mother in response to fetal antigens. Allergic mothers showed a nonsignificant trend for stronger lymphoproliferation to fetal alloantigens. The number of previous pregnancies (gravidity) was associated with stronger maternal responses to fetal alloantigens, as shown by lymphoproliferation (Kendall t50.3, P50.04) and IFN-g (t50.3, P50.04) synthesis, but did not affect fetal responses to the various stimuli. Conclusions: Maternal responses to fetal antigens were related to fetal immune responses and subsequent allergy. This novel observation suggests that events at the materno-fetal interface have an important influence on early immune development and should be investigated further
Keyword allergy
cord blood
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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