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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-8

The outcomes of fetal cell microchimerism in the mother


Department of Biological Sciences, Sunandan Divatia School of Science, NMIMS (Deemed-to-be) University, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Anushka Nikhil Alekar
V. L, Pherozeshah Mehta Road, Vile Parle, Mumbai - 400 056, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bmrj.bmrj_9_21

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The presence of small quantities of genetically heterogeneous cells in an organism is known as microchimerism. Fetal microchimerism is the presence of small quantities of fetal cells in the maternal system during and after pregnancy. Since these cells are semi-allogeneic in the mother's body, they have an impact on the mother's health. Recent studies suggest contradictory outcomes. Some suggest an involvement in autoimmune diseases and cancer. Others suggest involvement in tissue repair and wound healing. Fetal cells have been detected in maternal organs decades after pregnancy. It was found that these cells participate in the healing process post a chronic injury. In other cases, these cells initiate an immune response which may lead to the development of autoimmune diseases. Further, studies show that fetal cells have been discovered in the tumor microenvironment, either aiding in cancer development or eradicating the cancer cells. Here, I review the different outcomes that can occur in the female body because of fetal cell microchimerism. I discuss the presence of fetal cells in maternal organs such as the heart and the central nervous system organs and their involvement in disease development and tissue repair in the mother.


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