Reproductive Immunology
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Trophoblastic Cells

Contribution of Trophoblasts: How the Embryo Helps Itself

When an embryo invades, the invading cells are called trophoblastic cells. When all is functioning as it should, these cells cause certain molecules to develop and reactions to take place which begin the process of establishing and maintaining immune tolerance for the embryo. Immune tolerance is achieved by deactivation of attacking cells in different ways, depending on the types of cells involved. Some of the effects created during this process, including mild inflammation of the uterine lining, can also assist in the implantation of the embryo. If abnormal variations occur in the cells and compounds or if they fail to form at all, the process can fail and the mother's immune system can directly attack the embryo, leading to miscarriage.

There is also a type of cell on the embryo with a receptor (a part on the surface of the cell that responds to certain stimuli) that activates and causes inflammation and attack against itself in the presence of viral and bacterial infections. This function is also used to stimulate inflammation to assist with implantation by development of blood vessels that invade the mothers uterine lining (so a little bit of inflammation is good, but too much is harmful), but these receptors also have other major functions. These are to order the immune system to attack any uterine infection, which if not addressed by these activated fetal cells, can result in miscarriage and to they even defend the embryo and fetus itself from infection. If these receptors are not formed correctly (polymorphism), the embryo is left open to infection, followed by destruction by the immune system or the virus and bacteria itself.

Tailored Treatment Programs for Recurring Miscarriages

Dr. Braverman and entire team are committed to thorough examination and testing to determine the real cause of your pregnancy troubles, which then allows us to target the correct area for treatment. As needed, we will conduct a biopsy of the uterine lining to check for infection as this can be the cause of recurrent miscarriages. Antibiotics prior to IVF cycles have also assisted many of our patients. Our team is also in the process of developing a genetic test to detect hundreds of the cell variations (polymorphisms) that can cause multiple miscarriages and again, allow us to focus our treatment on the relevant issue.

If you are having trouble successfully completing a pregnancy, contact a reproductive specialist at our practice for help.