Participation of mast cells in regulatory T cells (Treg)-induced tolerance at the fetal-maternal interface: Consequences of mast cells or mast cell-related genes absence in pregnancy outcome
The immunological mechanisms involved in the establishment and maintenance of a successful pregnancy in spite of the presence of fetal cells bearing paternal, thus foreign antigens are still unknown and recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) is thought to be due to an incomplete tolerance to paternal antigens. We have recently proposed a very important role for regulatory T cells (Treg) during murine pregnancy by inducing tolerance towards the semiallogenic fetus through the generation of a transient tolerant microenvironment at the fetal-maternal interface. Mast cells (MCs) are known as primary responders in allergic reactions. However, recent studies show that MCs play a critical role in the Treg-dependent allograft tolerance by secreting interleukin-9 (IL)-9. Taking into account the similarities between toleranceassociated mechanisms in both, transplantation and pregnancy we carried out preliminary studies investigating whether MC may be also involved in Treg- mediated tolerance of the fetus. The main aim of the present project is to analyze whether MCs indeed contribute to pregnancy success -contrary to the so far known theories but accordingly with the breakthrough new data published for transplantation. We do believe that investigating the participation of MC and MC-related genes in Treginduced tolerance during pregnancy will contribute to the knowledge of the basic mechanisms regulating immune tolerance during pregnancy, a major biological question with tremendous
medical implications in other fields such as transplantation and tumor research.