Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/50676
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Type: Journal article
Title: Seminal fluid drives expansion of the CD4(+)CD25(+) T regulatory cell pool and induces tolerance to paternal alloantigens in mice
Author: Robertson, S.
Guerin, L.
Bromfield, J.
Branson, K.
Ahlstrom, A.
Care, A.
Citation: Biology of Reproduction, 2009; 80(5):1036-1045
Publisher: Soc Study Reproduction
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 0006-3363
1529-7268
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Sarah A. Robertson, Leigh R. Guerin, John J. Bromfield, Kim M. Branson, Aisling C. Ahlström and Alison S. Care
Abstract: T regulatory (Treg) cells are implicated in maternal immune tolerance of the conceptus at implantation; however, the antigenic and regulatory signals controlling Treg cells in early pregnancy are undefined. To examine the role of male seminal fluid in tolerance induction, the effect of exposure to seminal fluid at mating on responsiveness to paternal alloantigens was examined using paternal tumor cell grafts and by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) challenge on Day 3.5 postcoitum. Exposure to seminal fluid inhibited rejection of paternal tumor cells, independently of fertilization and embryo development, while seminal fluid from major histocompatability complex (MHC)-dissimilar males was less effective. Similarly, mating with intact males suppressed the DTH response to paternal alloantigens in an MHC-specific fashion. Excision of the seminal vesicle glands diminished the tolerance-inducing activity of seminal fluid. Mating with intact males caused an increase in CD4(+)CD25(+) cells expressing FOXP3 in the para-aortic lymph nodes draining the uterus, beyond the estrus-associated peak in cycling mice. The increase in CD4(+)CD25(+) cells was abrogated when males were vasectomized or seminal vesicles were excised. Collectively, these data provide evidence that exposure to seminal fluid at mating promotes a state of functional tolerance to paternal alloantigens that may facilitate maternal acceptance of the conceptus at implantation, and the effects of seminal fluid are likely to be mediated by expansion of the Treg cell pool. Both seminal plasma and sperm components of the seminal fluid are necessary to confer full tolerance and elicit the Treg cell response, potentially through provision of immune-deviating cytokines and antigens, respectively.
Keywords: female reproductive tract; immunology; pregnancy; seminal fluid; seminal vesicles; T regulatory cells; tolerance
Description: Copyright © 2009 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.
Provenance: Published online before print 21 January 2009.
RMID: 0020090620
DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.108.074658
Appears in Collections:Paediatrics publications

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