Why doesn't an expectant mother's immune system damage her growing baby - since it has 'foreign' DNA?
This fundamental phenomenon has yet to be fully explained.
“During pregnancy, the maternal immune system is exposed to a major challenge. The fetus expresses paternal alloantigens, yet it is not rejected”
“Pregnancy represents a major challenge to immunologic tolerance. How the fetal 'semiallograft' evades maternal immune attack is unknown.”
Source (Journal of the American Society of Hematology, 2011 vol. 117 no. 6 pp 1861-1868)
Similarly, the developing baby also has its own (developing) immune system - which somehow accepts the presence of the mother's cells, even though they have differing DNA to its own.
Also see :
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