The feto–maternal interface: setting the stage for potential immune interactions
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- Huppertz, B. Semin Immunopathol (2007) 29: 83. doi:10.1007/s00281-007-0070-7
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Human implantation and placentation comprise the direct contact of fetal with maternal tissues culminating in the erosion of maternal tissues by fetal cells. A complex interplay of maternal and fetal factors is key to maintain pregnancy until delivery. Immunological interactions can be found at different stages, such as blastocyst attachment, trophoblast invasion into maternal tissues, and flow of maternal blood through the placenta. These interactions need tightly controlled mechanisms to avoid rejection of the conceptus. In this study, these sites of interaction are introduced on a morphological level to help immunologists create their hypotheses on how the immunological interactions may work.