Research ArticleHuman Immunology

Timely and spatially regulated maturation of B and T cell repertoire during human fetal development

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Science Translational Medicine  25 Feb 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 276, pp. 276ra25
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa0072

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Developing Immunity

The adaptive immune response plays a critical role in protecting the body from both foreign pathogens and internal dangers such as cancer. However, little is known about how the immune system develops during human gestation. Rechavi et al. analyzed differences in B and T lymphocyte ontogeny from 12 to 26 weeks of gestational age. They found that B cell development precedes T cell development and that repertoire maturation is both temporally and spatially regulated. These data can be used as a baseline to improve immune function in developing fetuses and to assess the effects of therapeutic interventions.

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