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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2010 Jun;63(6):506-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2010.00841.x. Epub 2010 Apr 8.

B7 family molecules as regulators of the maternal immune system in pregnancy.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA. mpetroff@kumc.edu

Abstract

Placental and fetal growth and development are associated with chronic exposure of the maternal immune system to fetally derived, paternally inherited antigens. Because maternal lymphocytes are aware of fetal antigens, active tolerance mechanisms are required to ensure unperturbed progression of pregnancy and delivery of a healthy newborn. These mechanisms of tolerance may include deletion, receptor downregulation, and anergy of fetal antigen-specific cells in lymphoid tissues, as well as regulation at the maternal-fetal interface by a variety of locally expressed immunoregulatory molecules. The B7 family of costimulatory molecules comprises one group of immunoregulatory molecules present in the decidua and placenta. B7 family members mediate both inhibitory and stimulatory effects on T-cell activation and effector functions and may play a critical role in maintaining tolerance to the fetus. Here, we review the known functions of the B7 family proteins in pregnancy.

PMID:
20384620
PMCID:
PMC3426307
DOI:
10.1111/j.1600-0897.2010.00841.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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