Fetal stem cell microchimerism: natural-born healers or killers?
After four decades of study, the biological role of fetal microchimerism (FMC) remains elusive. Transfer of fetal cells to the mother begins soon after implantation, and increases with gestational age. FMC cells then decline after delivery, but remain detectable for years post-partum. These cells have been implicated in rheumatoid arthritis remission during pregnancy and the prevention of breast cancer by graft-versus-tumor-effects. However, any beneficial effects contrast with their suspecte...Expand abstract
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