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“A gentle immunological balance thus has to be maintained in the decidua, where immunological activity operates to eliminate a pathogen without damaging the fetus”. Markel et al. (2002) Journal of Clinical Investigation 110: 943.

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slide1

“A gentle immunological balance thus has to be maintained in the decidua, where immunological activity operates to eliminate a pathogen without damaging the fetus”

Markel et al. (2002)Journal of Clinical Investigation 110: 943

slide2

“The border zone … is not a sharp line, for it is in truth the fighting line where the conflict between the maternal cells and the invading trophoderm takes place, and it is strewn with such of the dead on both sides as have not already been carried off the field or otherwise disposed of.”

Johnstone (May 1914)

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the British Empire 25: 231

maternal provisioning of a fetus is associated with an opportunity cost
Maternal provisioning of a fetus is associated with an opportunity cost

The opportunity cost translates into lower expected fitness through other offspring

if extra resources are transferred to an embryo
If extra resources are transferred to an embryo

the embryo’s expected fitness increases

the mother’s expected fitness from other offspring decreases

slide5

cost

benefit to fetus

benefit

cost to siblings

maternal investment in fetus

slide6

cost

benefit to fetus

benefit

cost to siblings

X

X minimizes cost to siblings

slide7

cost

benefit to fetus

benefit

cost to siblings

X

Z

Z maximizes benefit to fetus

slide8

benefit to fetus

benefit

cost

cost to siblings

X

Y

Z

Y maximizes (benefit — cost)

slide9

mother

maternal

(non-inherited)

maternal(inherited)

paternal(inherited)

fetus

slide10

maternal

(non-inherited)

0

1/2

maternal

(inherited)

1

1/2

paternal

(inherited)

1

p/2

Relative shares

Benefit

(to fetus)

Cost

(to sibs)

gene

p = probability of shared paternity

a non inherited maternal gene gains no benefit from the survival and reproduction of a fetus
A non-inherited maternal gene gains no benefit from the survival and reproduction of a fetus
how is pregnancy possible
How is pregnancy possible?

rarity of genetic self-recognition

“the parliament of the genes”(mutual policing)

slide16

egg nucleus

sperm nucleus

slide17

fetus

yolk sac

trophoblast

mum

+

dad

mum

+

mum

dad

+

dad

46 xx paternal origin
46,XX paternal origin

massively proliferating placental tissues

1,000-fold increased risk of choriocarcinoma

46 xx maternal origin
46,XX maternal origin

ovarian teratomas; benign

produce most tissues (but not placenta)

slide20

mother

maternal

(non-inherited)

maternal(inherited)

paternal(inherited)

fetus

slide21

mother

1/2

1/2

fetus

1

(1+p)/4

incomplete information

Benefit

(to fetus)

Cost

(to sibs)

p = probability of shared paternity

slide23

spiral artery

umbilical cord

uterine vein

conflict can exist over
Conflict can exist over

whether or not to miscarry

the nutrient quality of maternal blood

the volume of blood reaching the placenta

slide25

ovulation

(day 0)

hCG (day 7)

CL regresses

(days 8-10)

onset of menstruation

(day 14)

women attempting to conceive
number of cycles

chemical pregnancies

clinical pregnancies

term pregnancies

707

198

155

136

women attempting to conceive

data from Wilcox et al. (1988)

slide27

luteinizing

hormone

progesterone

anterior pituitary

corpus luteum

uterus

slide28

progesterone

anterior pituitary

luteinizing

hormone

chorionicgonadotropin

corpus luteum

placenta

uterus

slide29

anterior pituitary

luteinizing

hormone

chorionicgonadotropin

corpus luteum

progesterone

placenta

progesterone

uterus

slide31

hLH/hCG

100 mIU/ml

50,000 mIU/ml

hGH/hPL

5 ng/ml

10,000 ng/ml

progesterone

10 ng/ml

200 ng/ml

estradiol

0.4 ng/ml

20 ng/ml

CONCENTRATIONS IN MATERNAL SERUM

non-pregnant

pregnant

maternal carbohydrate metabolism
maternal carbohydrate metabolism
  • fasting blood glucose falls in first trimester
  • maternal sensitivity to insulin decreases as pregnancy progresses
  • maternal insulin production increases in parallel with reduced sensitivity
maternal blood pressure in pregnancy
maternal blood pressure in pregnancy
  • blood pressure reduced during most pregnancies; rises toward term
  • ≈ 10% women develop hypertension

= pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)

  • preeclampsia (PIH + proteinuria) affects ≈ 3% pregnancies
slide38

Uteroplacentalresistance

Non-placentalresistance

Placental factors

Maternal factors

decrease

increase

increase

decrease

slide40
Maternal-fetal relations lack important feedback controls because signals are not evolutionarily credible
non pregnant mothers of sons
time since birthof last son

XY cellsin blood

non-pregnant mothers of sons

6 months

10 months

12 months

2 yrs

3 yrs

6 yrs

7 yrs

27 yrs

no

no

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

data from Bianchi et al. (1996)

slide49

Contribution to brains of chimeric mice

hypothalamus

neocortex

“two mums”

+ + +

“two dads”

+ + +

Keverne et al. (1996)Developmental Brain Research 92: 91

slide50
Genomic imprinting concerns differences between genomes of maternal and paternal origin, not differences between males and females