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Immunol Invest. 2008;37(5):427-47. doi: 10.1080/08820130802191599.

Pattern recognition at the maternal-fetal interface.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Intrauterine infections represent a significant threat to fetal well-being and pregnancy outcome. Recent studies suggest that non-immune cells of the maternal-fetal interface can actively recognize and respond to microbes through pattern recognition receptors, in order to control pathogens that may compromise the pregnancy. However, these same innate immune responses may inadvertently lead to excessive inflammation or apoptosis at the maternal-fetal interface. Thus, pattern recognition receptors may play a key role in infection-related pregnancy complications. This review discusses what is currently known about the role of Toll-like receptors and NOD-like receptors in controlling infections at the maternal-fetal interface, and what impact their function may have on pregnancy.

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