FunWhy doesn't the mother reject the fetus?

Why doesn't the mother reject the fetus?

An iron law of our immune system says that any foreign body that enters our body must be destroyed. And this rule is entirely applicable to the fetus, since this is a foreign body inside the mother. So why don't her defenses annihilate the future baby?

The explanation for this phenomenon, called immune privilege, is still a mystery. Until recently, some biologists thought that the compatibility between the fetus and the mother was due to the fact that the mother somehow suppressed the immune response towards the embryo. Other experts postulated that the placenta acted as an anatomical barrier against which maternal antibodies crashed.

A new hypothesis has been put forward by Andrew Mellor, David Munn and their colleagues at the Georgia Medical College in Augusta (USA). In an article published in the journal Science , Munn provides evidence that the future baby actively slows down the mother's natural defenses. In the placenta, embryonic cells make an enzyme known as indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), which has the ability to destroy tryptophan . Interestingly, this amino acid is essential for the staging of a type of defense cells known as T cells, which play a regulatory role in the activity of the immune system. If this actually occurs, it is also possible that some miscarriages occur due to inhibition for some reason of the enzyme IDO.

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