About this Research Topic
Pregnancy is a unique example of immunological and biological regulation during which several changes occur in the mother, allowing her to tolerate the fetus expressing foreign paternally-derived antigens. The fetus itself contributes to its own tolerance through cellular and soluble signaling that promotes bias towards homeostatic and tolerogenic maternal immune responses. The maternal immune system deals with the challenging aim of tolerating the developing fetus while still being alert of possible pathogens. Immune changes during gestation include the boosting of inflammatory (early pregnancy) followed by anti-inflammatory humoral and cellular mediators, such as cytokines, as well as an increase in homeostatic/regulatory immune cells. Biological changes comprise the strict regulation of placental functions and hormone synthesis. The fetal immune intra-amniotic space must also be closely regulated so that the pregnancy is maintained until term. Furthermore, a harmonious dialogue between the mother and fetus must persist throughout gestation. Therefore, the study of pregnancy must consider the immunological and biological regulatory processes in the mother (including the maternal circulation and reproductive tissues such as the uterus, decidua and cervix), the fetus, and the placenta.
Obstetrical syndromes result from dysregulation of the immunobiological pathways involved in pregnancy maintenance. Thus, insults during pregnancy (e.g. infection, placental dysfunction, stress, and environmental factors) may lead to serious consequences such as growth restriction, preeclampsia and/or prematurity, the leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity worldwide. Insults during pregnancy may also impact the quality of the neonatal life and, therefore, require further attention. The understanding of the immunobiological mechanisms leading to obstetrical syndromes is central to develop novel therapeutic approaches that can be used to tackle adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.
This Research Topic is intended to assemble a diverse collection of manuscripts to provide a comprehensive overview of the growing field of perinatal immunobiology. It is mainly focused on the cellular and humoral immune responses regulated during pregnancy and its complications as well as potential therapeutic approaches. Therefore, we welcome the submission of Review, Original Research, Opinion, and Perspective articles covering, but not limited to, the following immunobiological aspects:
1. Immunology of normal pregnancy: the study of antigen-specific as well as inflammatory responses in the maternal circulation, placenta, reproductive tissues, and fetal compartments
2. Immunobiology of pregnancy complications such as preterm labor and birth, preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, intra-uterine growth restriction, and others
3. Infectious diseases during pregnancy
4. The influence of environmental factors and epigenetics on pregnancy and/or fetal development
5. Fetal immune responses
Keywords: Pregnancy, Pregnancy complications, Mother, Fetus, Placenta
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