Why doesn't a mother's immune system reject a fetus? Progress on an answer really neat!
Chemokine Gene Silencing in Decidual Stromal Cells
Limits T Cell Access to the Maternal-Fetal Interface
- Patrice Nancy1,
- Elisa Tagliani1,
- Chin-Siean Tay1,
- Patrik Asp2,*,
- David E. Levy1,2,
- Adrian Erlebacher1,2,†
The chemokine-mediated recruitment of effector T cells to sites of inflammation is a central feature of the immune response. The extent to which chemokine expression levels are limited by the intrinsic developmental characteristics of a tissue has remained unexplored. We show in mice that effector T cells cannot accumulate within the decidua, the specialized stromal tissue encapsulating the fetus and placenta. Impaired accumulation was in part attributable to the epigenetic silencing of key T cell–attracting inflammatory chemokine genes in decidual stromal cells, as evidenced by promoter accrual of repressive histone marks. These findings give insight into mechanisms of fetomaternal immune tolerance, as well as reveal the epigenetic modification of tissue stromal cells as a modality for limiting effector T cell trafficking.