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J Reprod Immunol. 2014 Oct;104-105:2-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2014.02.005. Epub 2014 Mar 15.

Foetal immune programming: hormones, cytokines, microbes and regulatory T cells.

Author information

1
Sydney Medical School Nepean, The University of Sydney, Kingswood 2751, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Allergy and Immunology, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.
2
Sydney Medical School Nepean, The University of Sydney, Kingswood 2751, New South Wales, Australia. Electronic address: Ralph.Nanan@sydney.edu.au.

Abstract

In addition to genetic factors, environmental cues play important roles in shaping the immune system. The first environment that the developing foetal immune system encounters is the uterus. Although physically the mother and the foetus are separated by the placental membranes, various factors such as hormones and cytokines may provide "environmental cues" to the foetal immune system. Additionally, increasing evidence suggests that prenatal maternal environmental factors, particularly microbial exposure, might significantly influence the foetal immune system, affecting long-term outcomes, a concept termed foetal immune programming. Here we discuss the potential mediators of foetal immune programming, focusing on the role of pregnancy-related hormones, cytokines and regulatory T cells, which play a critical role in immune tolerance.

KEYWORDS:

Cytokines; Hormones; Microbiota; Regulatory T cells; Transplacental immune tolerance

PMID:
24702950
DOI:
10.1016/j.jri.2014.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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