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Reprod Fertil Dev. 2012;24(8):1123-33. doi: 10.1071/RD11252.

Impact of mouse pregnancy on thymic T lymphocyte subsets.

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Laboratorio de GlicoInmunoBiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Cardiológicas Prof. Dr Alberto C. Taquini (CONICET-UBA), Marcelo T. de Alvear 2270, C1122AAJ Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


It has been reported that fetal lymphoid progenitor cells are acquired during gestation and are able to develop in the maternal mouse thymus into functional T cells. Moreover, previous pregnancies increase the number of fetal cells in the mother. In the present study, we investigated whether mouse pregnancy induces changes in T lymphocyte subsets in the maternal thymus. We determined the T lymphocyte subsets in two allogeneic cross-breedings, namely CBA/J×BALB/c (normal) and CBA/J×DBA/2 (abortion prone), and investigated the effects of the age and parity of the female, as well as pregnancy outcome, on thymocyte populations. In addition, hormonal effects were evaluated in a syngeneic combination (CBA/J×CBA/J). We found that during pregnancy both hormonal and allogeneic stimuli induced a reduction in the CD4(+)CD8(+) subset with an increase in the CD4(+)CD8(-) population. Only young females of the normal combination exhibited an increase in the CD4(-)CD8(+) population. All young mice showed an increase in CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) T cells. Interestingly, the γδT thymus pool was increased in all females of the normal allogeneic pregnancy only, suggesting the participation of this pool in the observed beneficial effect of multiparity in this cross-breeding. Our results demonstrate that allogeneic pregnancies induce important variations in maternal thymocyte subpopulations depending on the age of the female and the male component of the cross-breeding.

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