Researchers have investigated the role of small organ ulcers or breasts in immune regulation during pregnancy. Tymium is a central function for the development of a very important immune system, the T cell group (T means fetal). T-cells act as a kind of conductor that determines how the immune system responds. It is necessary to get the body's own cells while attacking foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses.
Despite the major role of edema in the immune system, it is not known whether the edema function changes during pregnancy. Nowadays, knowledge about the most common is mainly in mice studies. The general perception based on animal studies is that the size of the tiinum decreases during pregnancy and that the drain decreases, thus reducing T-cells from becoming obstructed.
Small immune system for animals, but not for humans
The reduction in T cells in animals results in a weakening of the immune system leading to fetal tolerance. But does it work for people alike? To answer this question, researchers looked at the blood flow of various types of T cells in pregnant women and other pregnant women. A particular type of T-cell, so-called regulatory T cells, is particularly interesting because it can inhibit other immune cells and prevent their attacks on the body's tissues.
– We show that women during pregnancy have a long-term T-cell outflow from prosthetics. We also noted that the outflow of regulatory T cells that can suppress the immune response increases during pregnancy. The results can explain why there is both tolerance to the fetus and further protection against infections, "said Sandra Hellberg, Ph.D. in Clinical and Experimental Medicine, and one of the participants in the study.
It may be important for autoimmune diseases
The discovery may also be important for some autoimmune diseases where the immune system starts to attack the body's cells. Several autoimmune diseases are associated with thymus gland function, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), where the brain and spinal cord are damaged by the immune system.
"MS's previous studies have shown reduced edema and reduced T cell outflow, which can explain why women with MS symptoms often improve during pregnancy," says Professor Jan Ernerud, research director.
The research team now plans to investigate women with TMS who, before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and then to follow up, to determine whether changes in the balance of various T-cells may contribute to why women with MS often improve during pregnancy.
The study was conducted in collaboration with the University Hospital in Linköping, the Mödrahälsovården Vrinnevisjukhuset in Norrköping and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The study was funded by the Swedish Southeast Swedish Research Council and the FORSS Research Council.
"Maintenance of Traditional and Regulatory T Cells During Pregnancy" by Sandra Hellberg, Ratnesh B. Mehta, Anna Forsberg, Goran Berg, Jan Brynhildsen, Ola Winqvist, Maria C. Jenmalm and Jan Ernerudh (2018), Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology published online on October 9, 2018, doi: 10.1016 / j.jaci.2018.09.023