Antigen expression by cells of the conceptus before, during and after implantation

  • W. D. Billington


Knowledge of the antigenic status of the cells of the conceptus is being sought largely by workers in the fields of developmental biology and reproductive immunology. The former are seeking to determine whether cell surface molecules are useful markers of differentiation and involved in cellular recognition and interaction whilst the latter are attempting to elucidate their role in signalling the presence of a viable embryo and establishing a feto-maternal immunological dialogue that may be necessary for the maintenance of pregnancy. As long ago as 1951. Brambell and his colleagues(1) asserted that immune responses must play a part in the production and survival of the young in man and other mammals. More than thirty years later. the precise nature and extent of these responses are still far from clear. with the notable exception of the transfer of maternal immunoglobulins for the protection of the neonate against environmental pathogens.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Trophoblast Cell Trophoblastic Giant Cell Reprod Immunol Maternal Immune Response 
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© The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 1988

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  • W. D. Billington

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