Mothers can transmit allergies to their babies in womb
Topics: Children, Research
As noted by Medical Express, the study showed that a key antibody responsible for triggering allergic reactions (IgE) can cross the placenta and enter the fetus. Once inside, the antibody binds to fetal mast cells (a type of immune cell) that release chemicals that cause allergic reactions.
As a result, as part of the experiment, newborn mice developed allergic reactions to the same type of allergen as their mother. Maternal IgE is able to bind to the mast cells of the human fetus, which means that the conclusions are relevant to humans.
Allergies develop very early, scientists say. Infants experience allergic reactions closely related to the mother's allergic reaction. And, experts say, this fact cannot be explained by genetics. The latest study describes a new pathway for allergies.
It is noteworthy: the mechanism of transmission of sensitivity to allergens from mother to child weakens over time. Thus, in newborn mice, reactions were observed when tested after four weeks, but after six weeks they were less pronounced or absent altogether.
Plus, scientists have found that transferring IgE across the placenta requires the help of another protein, FcRN. FcRN off mice lacked maternal IgE attached to their mast cells and did not develop allergies after birth.