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Transfusion. 2001 Apr;41(4):499-503.

Detection of fetal HPCs in maternal circulation after delivery.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chiba University School of Medicine, Chiba, Japan.



Circulation of mature fetal blood cells in the maternal blood for a certain postpartum period has been verified, but detailed study of the fetal HPCs has not been reported. The objective of this study was to evaluate the frequency and clearance of these cells in the peripheral blood of puerperal women.


PBMNCs from 15 puerperal women who gave birth to male infants were cultured in semi-solid medium containing hematopoietic stimulating factors. Colonies formed in the medium were individually characterized, collected, and subjected to PCR amplification of the SRY gene on Y chromosome to confirm fetal origin.


The mean numbers of fetal progenitor cell colonies isolated per mL of maternal blood were 1.63, 2.48, 0.56, 0.12, and 0 on the day of delivery, at 4 days, 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year after delivery, respectively. There was no difference in the ratio of fetal versus maternal colonies between erythroid and granulocyte/macrophage lineages.


The present study demonstrated that a significant number of fetal HPCs circulate in the maternal blood for a duration of at least 6 months after delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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