•  
  •  
 

Authors

Patricia Speck

Abstract

The advent of molecular science has opened research into the role of the immune system in regulating growth and development. The primary functions of the immune system are to maintain the integrity of the organism and to eliminate any foreign invaders. In the case of mammals, pregnancy produces a paradox. The developing embryo is a foreign body; yet, it is nurtured rather than being rejected. The immune system is fundamental to the operation of this unique interaction of maternal and fetal cells. The ultimate paradox is that if maternal and paternal immunity are too similar, pregnancy fails. Cytokines, recently discovered chemical messengers, are intimately associated with the immune system, functioning as regulators of development according to specific time and space. Our knowledge regarding the number and nature of growth factors and cytokines is increasing. Regulation of these factors is critical to proper growth and development. Interruption of any part of this complex system causes pregnancy to fail. Mammalian pregnancy is a unique, intricately designed system, a tribute to a Master Designer.

Keywords

Major histocompatibility complex (MHC), interferon (IFN), antigen presenting cells (APC), interleukin (IL), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), cytokine, colony stimulating factor (CSF), isotope switch, metalloprotreins, transforming growth factor (TGF), apoptosis, cytotrophoblast, epidermal growth factor (EGF), integrin, low density lipoprotein (LDL), natural killer cell (NK), ligand, polymorphic, trophoblast, syncytium, monomorphic, allograft, adhesion factor, transferrin, trophectoderm, fibronectin, trophoblast-lymphocyte cross reactive antigen (TLX)

Disclaimer

DigitalCommons@Cedarville provides a publication platform for fully open access journals, which means that all articles are available on the Internet to all users immediately upon publication. However, the opinions and sentiments expressed by the authors of articles published in our journals do not necessarily indicate the endorsement or reflect the views of DigitalCommons@Cedarville, the Centennial Library, or Cedarville University and its employees. The authors are solely responsible for the content of their work. Please address questions to dc@cedarville.edu.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.