Fetal-maternal microchimerism: Impact on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Tatsuo Ichinohe, Takanori Teshima, Ken Ichi Matsuoka, Etsuko Maruya, Hiroh Saji

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Reciprocal cell traffic between mother and fetus during pregnancy gives rise to postpartum fetal-maternal lymphohematopoietic microchimerism, which is frequently detected in blood or tissue from healthy individuals. Although such microchimerism has been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and tissue repair, recent clinical experiences have suggested the association of microchimerism with acquired immunologic hyporesponsiveness to non-inherited maternal HLA antigens (NIMAs) or inherited paternal HLA antigens (IPAs); T cell-replete HLA-haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from a microchimeric IPA/NIMA-mismatched donor confers relatively lower incidence of severe graft-versus-host disease. The underlying mechanisms by which fetal-maternal microchimerism contributes to IPA/NIMA-specific tolerance are still elusive, although emerging experimental evidence suggests an involvement of the central deletion of IPA/NIMA-reactive T cells, the induction of peripheral regulatory T cells, and affinity-dependent modulation of NIMA-reactive B cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-552
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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