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Nat Rev Immunol. 2013 Jan;13(1):23-33. doi: 10.1038/nri3361. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Mechanisms of T cell tolerance towards the allogeneic fetus.

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Department of Pathology and NYU Cancer Institute, NYU School of Medicine, Langone Medical Center, 550 First Avenue, New York, New York 10016, USA.


Work on the mechanisms of fetomaternal tolerance has undergone a renaissance in recent years, and the general outlines of a solution to this long-standing paradox of 'transplantation' immunology have come into view. Here, we discuss several mechanisms, recently described in mice, that either minimize the activation of maternal T cells with fetal or placental specificity, or minimize the possibility that such T cells, if activated, are able to harm the fetus. The T cell response to antigens expressed by the conceptus serves as a paradigm for the study of tissue-specific immune tolerance and is relevant to the pathogenesis of immune-mediated pregnancy complications.

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