Maternal-Fetal Interaction and Immunological Memory

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Science  25 Jun 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3990, pp. 1346-1348
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3990.1346


Female rats of the poorly responding, inbred F344 strain were immunized with poly(Glu52Lys33Tyr15) aggregated with methylated bovine serum albumin, and then they were mated. The first and second litters in the F1 generation and in the F2 generation showed an enhanced immune response. When poly-lysine was used as the aggregating agent, enhancement occurred in only the first litter of the F1 generation and in the F2 generation. In both cases, antigen was transmitted from the immunized female to her offspring, where it localized in the bone marrow and, in a few cases, in the thymus and spleen also. The transplacental passage of antigen is probably the basis for the enhanced antibody response, which is a manifestation of immunological memory.