Chimerism and tetragametic chimerism in humans: implications in autoimmunity, allorecognition and tolerance.

Immunologic Research
Edmond J YunisEmilio J Yunis


The presence of cells or tissues from two individuals, chimeras, or the presence of cells and tissues that include the gonads, tetragametic chimerism can be detected by the analysis of cytogenetics and analysis of polymorphic genetic markers, using patterns of pedigree inheritance. These methodologies include determination of sex chromosomes, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) polymorphisms and panels of short tandem repeats (STRs) that include mitochondrial DNA markers. Studies routinely involve cases of temporal chimerism in blood transfusion, or following allotransplantation to measure the outcome of the organ, lymphopoietic tissues or bone marrow grafts. Demonstration of persistent chimerism is usually discovered in cases of inter-sexuality due to fusion of fraternal twins or in cases of fusion of embryos with demonstrable allogeneic monoclonality of blood which, excluded maternity or paternity when blood alone is used as the source of DNA. In single pregnancies it is possible to produce two kinds of microchimerism: feto-maternal and materno-fetal, but in cases of fraternal twin pregnancies it is possible to identify three different kinds which are related to cases of vanishing twins that can be identified during pregna...Continue Reading


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