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Methods Mol Med. 2006;122:149-63.

Macrophage-trophoblast interactions.

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Reproductive Immunology Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


During implantation and pregnancy, the invading trophoblast population is within close contact to maternal immune cells, particularly macrophages. During this period, a low level of trophoblast cell death occurs as part of the normal process of tissue renewal. Macrophage engulfment of apoptotic trophoblast cells prevents the release of potentially pro-immunogenic intracellular contents and prevents a maternal immune response. Furthermore, the uptake of apoptotic cells suppresses macrophages from secreting pro-inflammatory cytokines and promotes the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines, thus creating a microenvironment that will promote trophoblast survival and a successful pregnancy. The present chapter will describe some of the approaches used to study the interaction between macrophages and trophoblast cells.

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