Fetal leukocyte trafficking as a stimulus for the production of maternal antibodies in the goat

S. M. Oppenheim, A. L. Moyer, Robert Bondurant, Joan D Rowe, G. B. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The production of antibodies during pregnancy or after parturition is a natural occurrence in many mammalian species. Fetal cells have been detected in the peripheral blood of women and mice and are thought to be the immune stimulus for antibody production. The aim of this study was to investigate if the production of maternal anti-fetal antibodies during ruminant pregnancy is the result of fetal leukocyte trafficking across the placenta. Maternal pregnancy serum was collected from 94 does whose fetuses received sheep hematopoietic stem cells via in utero transplantation at 49 to 62 d of gestation. Serum samples were collected before surgery and at weekly intervals throughout gestation. A lymphocyte microcytotoxicity assay was used to screen the serum samples from does that carried chimeric fetuses to term (n = 75). Of these 75 does, 28 parous does had presurgery serum that contained alloreactive antibodies. Nine of the 75 does had nonreactive presurgery serum, but they produced alloreactive antibody titers during gestation. Xenoreactive antibodies were detected in the pregnancy sera from 2 of the 75 does tested. Hemolytic assays confirmed the species-specificity of the xenoreactive serum from these 2 does. In view of the fact that hematopoietic cells were the only source of anti-sheep antibody stimulation in this model, we propose that fetal leukocyte trafficking does take place across the caprine placenta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1583-1591
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 15 2001


  • Fetal leukocyte trafficking
  • Maternal immunization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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