Fetal cells in the maternal appendix: A marker of inflammation or fetal tissue repair?

Santos, Margarida Avo, O'Donoghue, Keelin, Wyatt-Ashmead, Josephine and Fisk, Nicholas M. (2008) Fetal cells in the maternal appendix: A marker of inflammation or fetal tissue repair?. Human Reproduction, 23 10: 2319-2325. doi:10.1093/humrep/den261


Author Santos, Margarida Avo
O'Donoghue, Keelin
Wyatt-Ashmead, Josephine
Fisk, Nicholas M.
Title Fetal cells in the maternal appendix: A marker of inflammation or fetal tissue repair?
Journal name Human Reproduction   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0268-1161
1460-2350
1359-5911
Publication date 2008-10-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/humrep/den261
Open Access Status
Volume 23
Issue 10
Start page 2319
End page 2325
Total pages 7
Editor A. Van Steirteghem
H. K. Beard
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject C1
111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
920114 Reproductive System and Disorders
1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine
Abstract BACKGROUND: Fetal microchimeric cells that have trafficked into the maternal circulation persist in maternal tissues for years after pregnancy, but their biological role is unclear. We investigated whether fetal cells participate in maternal tissue repair during human pregnancy. METHODS: Appendix specimens were acquired from women undergoing appendicectomy during (n = 8) or after (n = 1) pregnancy. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) determined the presence of male presumed-fetal cells, and immunostaining indicated the fetal cell phenotype. RESULTS: Male cells were identified in appendiceal tissues from all women with known present or past male pregnancies (n = 7) and from a woman with a previous spontaneous abortion of undetermined gender (n = 1), but not in one woman with three daughters. One woman was only 6 weeks pregnant at appendicectomy. Male cells were evenly distributed through appendix tissues, in larger numbers where there was a greater degree of inflammation and when the current pregnancy was male. Combined immunostaining and Y-FISH demonstrated male desmin+ muscle cells and CD3+ lymphocytes, suggesting fetal cells had differentiated. CONCLUSIONS: Male-presumed fetal cells of haematopoietic and mesenchymal origin were identified in the appendix of all pregnant women who had sons. We suggest that fetal cells are present at sites of maternal tissue injury during pregnancy, and may participate in tissue repair.
Formatted abstract
Background: Fetal microchimeric cells that have trafficked into the maternal circulation persist in maternal tissues for years after pregnancy, but their biological role is unclear. We investigated whether fetal cells participate in maternal tissue repair during human pregnancy.
Methods: Appendix specimens were acquired from women undergoing appendicectomy during (n = 8) or after (n = 1) pregnancy. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) determined the presence of male presumed-fetal cells, and immunostaining indicated the fetal cell phenotype.
Results: Male cells were identified in appendiceal tissues from all women with known present or past male pregnancies (n = 7) and from a woman with a previous spontaneous abortion of undetermined gender (n = 1), but not in one woman with three daughters. One woman was only 6 weeks pregnant at appendicectomy. Male cells were evenly distributed through appendix tissues, in larger numbers where there was a greater degree of inflammation and when the current pregnancy was male. Combined immunostaining and Y-FISH demonstrated male desmin+ muscle cells and CD3+ lymphocytes, suggesting fetal cells had differentiated.
Conclusions: Male-presumed fetal cells of haematopoietic and mesenchymal origin were identified in the appendix of all pregnant women who had sons. We suggest that fetal cells are present at sites of maternal tissue injury during pregnancy, and may participate in tissue repair.
©The Author 2008

Keyword Fetal cell microchimerism
Pregnancy
Appendix
Fetal cells
Tissue repair
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Fri, 27 Mar 2009, 22:38:39 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences