Tuesday April 23, 2019

Foetal Immune Rejection Could be the Reason of Preterm Labor

For the new study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team tested umbilical cord blood, which contains foetal cells, along with blood taken from nearly 200 women who had healthy pregnancies and those who went into early labour.

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pregnant, cesarean
However, when it comes to vaginal delivery, the first thought that crosses most womens' minds is of the labour pain which develops a fear of the VBAC, Pixabay

Foetal immune rejection may be one of the causes for preterm labour — a common pregnancy complication leading to birth occurring before the 37th week of pregnancy, researchers say.

The findings showed that it may sometimes happen when the foetal immune system “wakes up” too early and begins to reject the mother, causing the uterus to start contracting.

The researchers think the foetal immune system becomes triggered in a case of mistaken identity.

The findings showed that it may sometimes happen when the foetal immune system "wakes up" too early and begins to reject the mother, causing the uterus to start contracting.
Representational Image, pexels

An initial infection in the mother can result in inflammation and arouse the foetal immune system. The foetal immune cells confuse the mother’s cells for an invader and mount an attack, in the form of inflammatory chemicals.

These chemicals then trigger contractions, leading to preterm labour, the leading cause of infant mortality, the researchers explained.

“The dogma has always been that the foetus has a very immature immune system, and as a result, people haven’t really considered its possible role in pregnancy complications,” said Tippi MacKenzie, Associate Professor at the University of California-San Francisco.

“We showed that in patients who have preterm labour as a result of some kind of infection or inflammation — the most common cause of preterm labour — the foetal immune system awakens prematurely and may trigger labour,” MacKenzie added.

For the new study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team tested umbilical cord blood, which contains foetal cells, along with blood taken from nearly 200 women who had healthy pregnancies and those who went into early labour.

Also Read: Using aspirin may reduce obesity’s effect on cancer, finds study 

While the scientists saw no signs of an immune response in the mother’s blood, they instead, detected activation in two types of immune cells — T-cells and dendritic cells — in the cord blood of preterm infants.

The researchers also found greater numbers of the mother’s cells circulating in the cord blood of preterm infants. (IANS)

Next Story

Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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smoking
The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

baby
If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)