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Semin Pediatr Surg. 2013 Feb;22(1):62-5. doi: 10.1053/j.sempedsurg.2012.10.011.

Clinical implications of maternal-fetal cellular trafficking.

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Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research and The Fetal Treatment Center, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0570, USA.


Maternal-fetal cellular trafficking (MFCT) is the bidirectional passage of cells that results in the presence of fetal cells in the mother and maternal cells in the fetus. This naturally occurring biological phenomenon has been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases in both mothers and children. However, MFCT may also have beneficial consequences in establishing and maintaining maternal-fetal tolerance and may have long-term consequences for transplantation tolerance. There is also evidence that trafficking is altered during pregnancy complications and fetal intervention. An improved understanding of cellular trafficking during pregnancy will lead to progress in multiple fields including autoimmunity, transplantation, and fetal surgery.

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