News of the WeekImmunology

Fetal Immune System Hushes Attacks on Maternal Cells

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Science  05 Dec 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5907, pp. 1450-1451
DOI: 10.1126/science.322.5907.1450b

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On page 1562 of this week's issue of Science, researchers provide an explanation for why some maternal cells that cross the placenta escape attack by the fetal immune system. The work also suggests a new mechanism for how the human immune system learns to spare the body's own tissues, a tolerance that breaks down in autoimmune diseases.