Summary: Past Abortion Might be a Factor in Autoimmune Diseases

Larger than normal fetomaternal transfer of cells occurs after an abortion. Factor in autoimmune diseases.

   In human pregnancies, bi-directional transfer of living maternal and embryonic cells begins with the implantation of the embryo and continues throughout the pregnancy. Maternal cells pass into the fetal circulation and fetal cells pass into the maternal circulation. When fetal cells enter into the mother's circulation, they can exist via reproduction in maternal tissues for decades after the pregnancy and lead to fetal microchimerism (FMc). Maternal cells also enter into the fetal circulation, where they can exist via reproduction in the child's tissues long after birth of the child, even into adulthood and lead to maternal microchimerism (MMc).1 Studies have found that MMc in a newborn is usually benign or beneficial, but is associated with a spectrum of chronic inflammatory diseases.1 In addition to a child acquiring the MMc directly from his/her mother, microchimerism is also possible to be derived from an older sibling. Cells originating from the gestation of an older sibling could exist via uterine placental connection to the fetus of a subsequent pregnancy.1 A 2001 study found that a larger than normal fetomaternal transfer of cells occurs after an abortion.2,3 Subsequent analysis of published research, that included pregnancy history information, concluded that fetal loss was significantly associated with the development of microchimerism.4 Additionally, the effect of procreation with multiple partners has been identified as a possible influence on the development of microchimerism. Researchers found that women who had children with more than one partner had higher mortality rates than those who had only a single partner.2 Furthermore, it has been suggested that MMc is more likely to occur with elective terminations of pregnancy than with spontaneous miscarriages.5 It has been theorized that the persistence of fetal cells following pregnancy can lead to maternal immune responses to these immunologically foreign cells and may contribute to postpartum autoimmune diseases.2 Other studies have suggested that fetal cell microchimerism may occur in a much wider spectrum.2 The consistently rising incidence of autoimmune diseases in women over the past four decades may be attributed to the increase in the utilization of abortion.6

1Stevens, Anne M. Do Maternal Cells Trigger or Perpetuate Autoimmune Diseases in Children? Pediatric Rheumatology. May 2007.

2Johnson, Kirby L., Diana W. Bianchi. Fetal Cells in Maternal Tissue Following Pregnancy: What Are the Consequences? Human Reproduction Update. 10(6) 497-502. August 2004.

3Bianchi, Diana W., Antonio Farina, William Weber, Laurent D. Delli-Bovi, Matthew DeRiso, John M. Williams, and Katherine W. Klinger. Significant Fetal-Maternal Hemorrhage After Termination of Pregnancy: Implications for Development of Fetal Cell Microchimerism. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2001.

4Khosrotehrani, Kiarash, Kirby L. Johnson, Joseph Lau, Alain Dupuy, Dong Hyun Cha, and Diana W. Bianchi. The Influence of Fetal Loss on the Presence of Fetal Cell Microchimerism. Arthritis & Rheumatism. November 2003. 48(11) 3237-3241.

5 McGrath, Jr. Hugh. Letter to the Editor, Arthritis & Rheumatism, September 2004, 50(9) 3058-3059.

6 Miech, Ralph P. The Role of Fetal Microchimerism in Autoimmune Disease. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. June 2010; 3(2): 164-168


















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