Immune Regulation in Eutherian Pregnancy: Live Birth Coevolved with Novel Immune Genes and Gene Regulation.

Moon JM, Capra JA, Abbot P, Rokas A
Bioessays. 2019 41 (9): e1900072

PMID: 31373044 · DOI:10.1002/bies.201900072

Novel regulatory elements that enabled expression of pre-existing immune genes in reproductive tissues and novel immune genes with pregnancy-specific roles in eutherians have shaped the evolution of mammalian pregnancy by facilitating the emergence of novel mechanisms for immune regulation over its course. Trade-offs arising from conflicting fitness effects on reproduction and host defenses have further influenced the patterns of genetic variation of these genes. These three mechanisms (novel regulatory elements, novel immune genes, and trade-offs) played a pivotal role in refining the regulation of maternal immune systems during pregnancy in eutherians, likely facilitating the establishment of prolonged direct maternal-fetal contact in eutherians without causing immunological rejection of the genetically distinct fetus.

© 2019 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

MeSH Terms (15)

Animals Biological Evolution Eutheria Female Gene Duplication Gene Expression Regulation Genetic Variation Haplotypes Humans Live Birth Pregnancy Pregnancy, Animal Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid Retroviridae Selection, Genetic

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