Impact of fetal-maternal tolerance in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Takanori Teshima, Ken Ichi Matsuoka, Tatsuo Ichinohe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is known to cure various hematological disorders; however, its widespread use is limited due to a lack of histocompatible donors. Reciprocal cell traffic between the mother and fetus during pregnancy gives rise to postpartum fetal-maternal lymphohematopoietic microchimerism, which is frequently detected in the blood or tissue of healthy individuals. Studies in clinical and experimental transplantation provide evidence that exposure to non-inherited maternal antigens (NIMAs) during pregnancy may result in long-lasting fetomaternal microchimerism and tolerance induction. Studies of HLA-mismatched HSCT have suggested a relatively lower incidence of severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after transplantation from a NIMA-mismatched donor. Studies using a mouse model have also demonstrated a "child-to-mother" bone marrow transplantation from an NIMA-exposed donor to reduce the morbidity and mortality of GVHD in an antigen-specific manner while preserving the graft-versus- leukemia effects and favoring the immune reconstitution, thus resulting in a marked improvement in outcome after HSCT. Prospective clinical studies are therefore warranted to confirm these beneficial effects of fetal-maternal tolerance in allogeneic HSCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalArchivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • GVHD
  • HSCT
  • Non-inherited maternal antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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