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      Breastmilk cell trafficking induces microchimerism-mediated immune system maturation in the infant

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          Initiating breastfeeding within the first hour of life confers an important benefit in terms of child mortality and severe morbidity. Intestinal permeability to ingested macromolecules and immunoglobulins is limited to the first days of human life. These exchanges cease in the very early post-partum period but may increase beyond the neonatal period in response to local inflammation or introduction of a weaning food. From animal- and limited human-based observations, compelling evidence points out to breastmilk cells also trafficking from mother to infant mucosal tissues and participating to the maternal microchimerism. The precise nature of breastmilk cells that are involved is presently not known but likely includes progenitor/stem cells-representing up to 6% of breastmilk cells-with possible contribution of mature immune cells. Stem cell microchimerism may induce tolerance to non-inherited maternal antigens (NIMAs), breastfeeding generating regulatory T cells (Treg ) that suppress antimaternal immunity. Therefore, in complement to pregnancy-induced microchimerism, breastfeeding-induced microchimerism may be pivotal in infant immune development, intestinal tissue repair/growth and protection against infectious diseases. As a continuum of the gestational period, the neonatal gut may be considered as a temporary, but important developmental extension of the role played by the placenta during intrauterine life; breastmilk playing the role of maternal blood by delivering maternal soluble factors (macromolecules, Ig, cytokines) and immunologically active milk cells. A better understanding of breastfeeding-induced maternal microchimerism would provide further evidence in support of public health messages that reinforce the importance of early initiation of breastfeeding.

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          Maternal alloantigens promote the development of tolerogenic fetal regulatory T cells in utero.

          As the immune system develops, T cells are selected or regulated to become tolerant of self antigens and reactive against foreign antigens. In mice, the induction of such tolerance is thought to be attributable to the deletion of self-reactive cells. Here, we show that the human fetal immune system takes advantage of an additional mechanism: the generation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) that suppress fetal immune responses. We find that substantial numbers of maternal cells cross the placenta to reside in fetal lymph nodes, inducing the development of CD4+CD25highFoxP3+ Tregs that suppress fetal antimaternal immunity and persist at least until early adulthood. These findings reveal a form of antigen-specific tolerance in humans, induced in utero and probably active in regulating immune responses after birth.
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            HIV-1 persistence in CD4+ T cells with stem cell-like properties

            Cellular HIV-1 reservoirs that persist despite antiretroviral treatment are incompletely defined. We show that during suppressive antiretroviral therapy, CD4+ T memory stem cells (TSCM) harbor high per-cell levels of HIV-1 DNA, and make increasing contributions to the total viral CD4+ T cell reservoir over time. Moreover, phylogenetic studies suggested long-term persistence of viral quasispecies in CD4+ TSCM cells. Thus, HIV-1 may exploit stem cell characteristics of cellular immune memory to promote long-term viral persistence.
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              An Fc receptor structurally related to MHC class I antigens.

              Maternal immunoglobulin G transmitted to the fetus or newborn provides humoral immunity for the first weeks of mammalian life. Fc receptors on intestinal epithelial cells of the neonatal rat (FcRn) mediate the uptake of IgG from milk. Affinity-purified FcRn is resolved by SDS-PAGE into components of relative molecular masses 45,000-53,000 (p51) and about 14,000 (p14). We report the identification of the smaller component as beta 2-microglobulin. Association of beta 2-microglobulin with p51 was confirmed by crosslinking in intestinal epithelial cell brush borders. We have cloned a cDNA encoding the presumptive Fc-binding subunit, p51, and its predicted primary structure has three extracellular domains and a transmembrane region which are all homologous to the corresponding domains of class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens. This is the first time a function has been assigned to an MHC antigen-related molecule.

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                (View ORCID Profile)
                Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
                Pediatr Allergy Immunol
                March 2018
                March 2018
                January 08 2018
                : 29
                : 2
                : 133-143
                [1 ]Pathogenesis and Control of Chronic Infections; INSERM, EFS; Université de Montpellier; Montpellier France
                [2 ]Department of Bacteriology-Virology and Department of Medical Information; CHU Montpellier; Montpellier France
                [3 ]Department of Paediatrics and Child Health; School of Medicine; University Teaching Hospital; University of Zambia; Lusaka Zambia
                [4 ]Institute for Medical Immunology; Université Libre de Bruxelles; Brussels Belgium
                [5 ]Division of Infectious Diseases & International Health; Department of Medicine; School of Medicine; University of Virginia; Charlottesville VA USA
                © 2018


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