Fetal exposure to maternal human platelet antigen-1a does not induce tolerance. An analytical observational study
ForfatterKjær, Mette; Tiller, Heidi; Heide, Gøril; Kjeldsen-Kragh, Jens; Skogen, Bjørn Ragnar; Husebekk, Anne
Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a disease that may cause severe bleeding complications with risk of perinatal death or lifelong disability. The main cause of FNAIT is maternal antibodies against human platelet antigen (HPA)-1a. Both fetomaternal bleeding and transplacental trafficking of fetal cells during pregnancy could be the cause of alloimmunization. Persistence of fetal cells in the mother (fetal microchimerism) and maternal cells in the child (maternal microchimerism) are well-recognized phenomena. Thus, it could be envisaged that fetal exposure to the HPA-1a antigen could tolerize an HPA-1a negative female fetus and prevent production of anti-HPA-1a antibodies later in life if she becomes pregnant with an HPA-1a positive fetus. The objective of the current study was to assess if the risk of producing anti-HPA-1a antibodies and the severity of neonatal thrombocytopenia in HPA-1a negative women with HPA-1a positive mothers (i.e. the mother is HPA-1a/b), was lower than in HPA-1a negative women with HPA-1a negative mothers. HPA-1a negative women with HPA-1a antibodies, identified from a Norwegian screening study (1996–2004), where HPA-1 genotype of their mothers was available, were included in the study. The frequency of HPA-1a positive mothers to HPA-1a immunized daughters were compared to the calculated frequency in the general population. We did not find any difference in the frequency of HPA-1ab among mothers to daughters with HPA-1a antibodies as compared with the general population. Furthermore, acknowledging sample-size limitations, we neither found an association between the mothers’ HPA type and their daughters’ anti-HPA-1a antibody levels or any difference between the two groups of mothers (HPA-1ab vs HPA-1bb), with respect to frequency of thrombocytopenia in the children of their daughters with HPA-1a antibodies. Hence, there was no indication of tolerance against fetal HPA-1a antigen in HPA-1bb women who had been exposed to HPA-1a antigen during fetal development.
Source at https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182957 .