What is Microchimerism?
Microchimerism is defined as the presence of a small number of cells that originated from another individual and are therefore genetically distinct from the cells of the host individual. This phenomenon may be related to certain types of autoimmune conditions and diseases. The cause or mechanisms responsible for this relationship are unclear and the effects are still being researched.
What is know is that during pregnancy, a two-way traffic of immune cells may occur through the placenta. Exchanged cells can multiply and establish long-lasting cell lines that are immunologically active even decades after giving birth.
In humans the most common form of microchimerism is fetomaternal microchimerism which is also known as fetal cell microchimerism or fetal chimerism. This occurs when cells from a fetus pass through the placenta and establish cell lineages within the mother. Reports and studies show that fetal cells have been documented to stay within the mother and multiply for several decades. The exact phenotype of these cells is still unknown, although several different cell types have been identified. Some of these include various immune lineages, mesenchymal stem cells, and placental-derived cells.
The potential health consequences and or benefits of these cells are currently unknown, but are being researched. One popular hypothesis is that these fetal cells might trigger a graft-versus-host reaction in the mother and could lead to autoimmune disease. This hypothesis provides explanation for why many autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in child bearing and middle-aged women; as well as their offspring. Another hypothesis is that the fetal cells locate and find their way to injured or diseased maternal tissue and may possibly act as stem cells that participate in repair. Until there is more research done, It is unclear there full function and without life long participants, the long term effects may not ever be clear.
About 50-75 % of women carry fetal immune cell lines after giving birth. However, not all of those instances will be as detrimentally challenging to overcome, as those that occur between opposing fetal and maternal Rh-factors. In this situation, the cells from the Rh-Negative body are naturally auto-set to attack the presence of Rh-Positive cells.
Maternal immune cells have also been found in the offspring after birth. This is an example of maternal to fetal microchimerism. It seems that this form of microchimerism occurs about half as frequent as from the baby to the mother. What health issues could your child be facing later in life? Microchimerism had also been seen in the population of severely immunocompromised patients who have suffered a trauma that required them to have a blood transfusion.
I figured this out well over two years before I found this very supportive known medical condition and I did it without a Medical Degree. Ask questions and trust your instinct. Please do not just take your doctor's blindly at their word. They are human, they are students and they are PRACTICING THEIR PROFESSION ON YOU! They are Medical Practitioners; by definition, a practitioner is one who practices something (like medicine), especially an occupation, profession, or technique ( like a doctor). They do not know everything and they should be learning something new everyday in an effort to keep up with scientific advancements of medicine and genetics!
If you are Rh-Negative or come from a line of Rh-Negative people AND you suffer from an autoimmune condition, chronic pain, or some other issue that less than 15% of the general public suffer...maybe it is time to look for a deeper cause and reason for your current health condition. Over and over again, today's doctors give Rh-Negative mothers the impression there is no general importance to our blood type, except that we "need" RhoGAM injections, a human blood product, to protect the current and future incompatible pregnancies. They are WRONG! This CAN effect the long term health and wellness of ourselves, as well as our offspring in the future. Maybe so far in the future, decades even; that we will forget to look at the incompatibility as a possible cause!
Most autoimmune conditions and diseases have no known cause and no known cure! WHY is that? Well, while medicine has made great advancements, it seems very compartmentalized now. Every disease and condition has been individually researched, categorized and given a specialist and now we are no longer looking at the body as a whole. If they problem is in the result of conception, fetal/maternal exposure and the long term effect of the process on both human bodies...there might not ever be an answer...only more questions, pharmaceutical band-aids for the symptoms and immunosuppressant drugs meant to destroy our natural immune response. When the immune system is suppressed the bodies natural defense system is lowered and that could lead to higher susceptibility to other diseases and conditions, like many cancers. It may be WHY cancer is so often listed as a "side effect' on these types of pharmaceutical drugs, it was already there in waiting and now there is no immune system to fight it.
We may not be doing ourselves a favor with these "temporary fixes" - without some serious consideration of the true cause of the problem. Equally; maybe someone should have been charged with monitoring and reporting the long term effects of using the Rhesus Serum that Dr.'s Landsteiner and Wiener provided. Not just because of what has been in the injection in the past, but more importantly the result of its use on mothers and the Rh+/- incompatible children who otherwise may not have even survived the harsh environment of the Rh-Negative womb. Rh-Incompatibility, Graft & Organ vs. Host Rejection, Autoimmunity and Microchimerism are all examples of a serious fight going on in the body and are characteristically defined the same...part of the host self does not recognize something in itself....as self and it sets out to attack!