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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e45592. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045592. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Male microchimerism in the human female brain.

Author information

  • 1Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA. fchan@ualberta.ca

Abstract

In humans, naturally acquired microchimerism has been observed in many tissues and organs. Fetal microchimerism, however, has not been investigated in the human brain. Microchimerism of fetal as well as maternal origin has recently been reported in the mouse brain. In this study, we quantified male DNA in the human female brain as a marker for microchimerism of fetal origin (i.e. acquisition of male DNA by a woman while bearing a male fetus). Targeting the Y-chromosome-specific DYS14 gene, we performed real-time quantitative PCR in autopsied brain from women without clinical or pathologic evidence of neurologic disease (n=26), or women who had Alzheimer's disease (n=33). We report that 63% of the females (37 of 59) tested harbored male microchimerism in the brain. Male microchimerism was present in multiple brain regions. Results also suggested lower prevalence (p=0.03) and concentration (p=0.06) of male microchimerism in the brains of women with Alzheimer's disease than the brains of women without neurologic disease. In conclusion, male microchimerism is frequent and widely distributed in the human female brain.

PMID:
23049819
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3458919
Free PMC Article
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