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J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2019 May-Aug;23(2):311. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_85_17.

Microchimerism: A new concept.

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Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Hi-Tech Dental College and Research Institute, Bhubneshwar, Odisha, India.
Dental Surgeon, Rural Hospital, Devrukh, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India.
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Chhattisgarh Dental College and Research Institute, Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, India.
Research Scientist and Consultant Stemgenn Therapeutics, New Delhi, India.


Microchimerism is the presence of cells from one individual in another genetically distinct individual. Pregnancy is the main cause of natural microchimerism through transplacental bi-directional cell trafficking between mother and fetus. In addition to a variety of cell-free substances, it is now well-recognized that some cells are also exchanged in pregnancy. Furthermore, it is now known that microchimerism persists decades later both in mother and in her progeny. The consequences of pregnancy-related microchimerism are under active investigation. However, many authors have suggested a close relationship linking fetal microchimerism and the development of autoimmune diseases. Fetal microchimerism is emerging as a potential contributing factor in certain diseases, including cancer. Parallel studies in animal and human pregnancy suggest that microchimeric fetal cells play a role in wound healing. Role of these microchimeric cells in human health and disease is discussed here.


Autoimmune disease; fetal-maternal trafficking; microchimerism; pregnancy

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