The fetus, not the mother, elicits maternal immunologic rejection: lessons from discordant dizygotic twin placentas

Journal of Perinatal Medicine
Kamran Yusuf, Harvey J Kliman


Our objective was to elucidate the pathogenesis of twin discordance in four dizygotic pregnancies where only one of the twins had IUGR due to chronic villitis. We identified four cases of dizygotic twin placentas over a period of four years with evidence of chronic villitis. There was no clinical or pathologic evidence of TORCH, bacterial infection, preeclampsia or autoimmune disorders. Placentas were weighed, processed for histologic examination and stained with CD45RO (clone UCHL1) mouse monoclonal antibody, which identifies T-cells. All placentas were dichorionic, with two being fused. Birth weight differences were 29%, 41%, 17% and 10%. Villitis was more marked in the placenta of the twin that weighed less and correlated with the degree of weight discordance. On examining the junction between the fused dichorionic placentas, the chorionic villi from the smaller twin contained numerous T-cells, whereas the villi associated with the less affected twin, showed little to no T-cells. We describe a series of dizygotic twin placentas where the more severe the chronic villitis, the more affected the placenta and fetus. Since the maternal environment was constant for each of these twins, differences in villitis severity appears to b...Continue Reading


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