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Article Review Cell Transfer During Pregnancy - Essay Example

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This paper reviews the article Your Cells are My Cells and considers the validity of the article based on current knowledge about the immune system, microchimerism and the immune response. Finally an evaluation of the article as a source document is included.
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Article Review Cell Transfer During Pregnancy
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"Article Review Cell Transfer During Pregnancy"

Download file to see previous pages The main point in the article was that cells’ crossing the placenta is an established fact (microchimerism) but that new research is suggesting that these same cells can result in health or illnesses in both the mother and the child for a considerable time after the sharing occurred. Also that these cells can persist for an indefinite period of time and can become part of the body’s organs.
There are instances when microchimerism can cause an immune attack in some individuals, but in some cases the body can actually be helped to heal through the same interplay of cells. Two examples in the paper showed an example of this. Firstly mothers who have rheumatoid arthritis can often have an improvement in their symptoms when they are pregnant, but that the condition returns after birth. This was initially considered to be because of higher levels of Cortisol in the blood of the mother, but because this phenomenon is not consistent in all cases (it doesn’t work for some women) this idea as discounted. Studies are now considering the disparity in Class II HLA’s as a possible reason for the decrease in symptoms during pregnancy.
The second example was juvenile dermatomyositis. In this case transferred immune cells (mother to foetus) can result in an attack on the child’s body tissues. Another case in children is scleroderma and neonatal lupus. In both of these cases the adopted cells can cause the host body to attack the affected body tissues.
The final point in the article was that this transfer could be harmful for some, and a helping aid in others. The reasons why this is the case seems to differ from case to case and more research is needed to determine how and why this happens.
The transfer of cells between foetus and mother has been well documented especially in studies relating to negative impacts the mother can have the on the babies health through the ingestion of alcohol and other harmful substances. The foetus is basically plugged ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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