Table 1.

The association between fetal cell microchimerism and maternal autoimmune diseases

Disease Tissues studied Techniques used to detect microchimerism Incidence of microchimerism compared with controls
Systemic sclerosis Peripheral blood Y chromosome or HLA PCR Significantly increased
Affected tissues Y chromosome PCR and FISH Significantly increased
Polymorphic eruption of pregnancy Skin Y chromosome PCR Significantly increased
Systemic lupus erythematosus Many Y chromosome PCR and FISH Variable according to disease severity
Primary biliary cirrhosis Liver Y chromosome PCR and FISH No significant differences*
Sjögren's syndrome Salivary glands and peripheral blood Y chromosome PCR No significant differences
Hashimoto's disease Thyroid Y chromosome PCR or FISH Significantly increased
Graves' disease Thyroid Y chromosome PCR No significant differences
Cutaneous lichen planus Skin Y chromosome PCR No significant differences
  • * When primary biliary cirrhosis presents in association with systemic sclerosis, or diseases related to systemic sclerosis, significantly increased microchimerism has been found (Corpechot et al., 2000).

  • When Sjögren's syndrome presents in association with systemic sclerosis, significantly increased microchimerism has been found (Aractingi et al., 2002).