Microchimerism in recurrent miscarriage

Cell Mol Immunol. 2014 Nov;11(6):589-94. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2014.82. Epub 2014 Sep 22.


Maternal-fetal cell exchange during pregnancy results in acquisition of microchimerism, which can durably persist in both recipients. Naturally acquired microchimerism may impact maternal-fetal interaction in pregnancy. We conducted studies to ask whether microchimerism that a woman acquired from her own mother is detectable before or during pregnancy in women with recurrent miscarriage. Fetal microchimerism was also assayed. Women with primary idiopathic recurrent miscarriage (n=23) and controls (n=31) were studied. Genotyping was conducted for probands, their mothers and the fetus, a non-shared polymorphism identified and quantitative polymerase chain reaction performed to measure microchimerismin peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Preconception comparisons were made between recurrent miscarriage subjects and controls, using logistic regression and Wilcoxon rank sum. Longitudinal microchimerism in subsequent pregnancies of recurrent miscarriage subjects was described. There was a trend toward lower preconception detection of microchimerism in recurrent miscarriage versus controls, 6% vs. 19% (1/16 vs. 6/31, P=0.2). During pregnancy, 3/11 (27%) of recurrent miscarriage subjects who went on to have a birth had detection of microchimerism from their own mother, whereas neither of two subjects who went on to miscarry had detection (0/2). This initial data suggest that microchimerism from a woman's own mother, while detectable in women with recurrent miscarriage, may differ from controls and according to subsequent pregnancy outcome. Further studies are needed to determine the cell types, quantities and any potential functional role of microchimerism in recurrent miscarriage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / epidemiology*
  • Abortion, Habitual / genetics
  • Adult
  • Chimerism / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Genotype
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange* / genetics
  • Mothers
  • Preconception Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies