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Dr Alpana De

Research Interests

“Effect of gonadotropin and pregnancy on systemic auto-immune responses”

In this study, the effects of pregnancy and hCG were studied and compared between autoimmune-prone and non autoimmune-prone strains of mice. The effects of immune-modulation during pregnancy on autoantibody profile were studied in mice of different age groups at different stages of pregnancy. To assess whether hCG induced differential responses in cells derived from different genetic background, the influence of hCG on proliferation and cytokine production by splenocytes (in response to B and T cell mitogenic stimuli) was evaluated. Since hCG receptors are also found on dendritic cells, the effect of hCG on the generation and TLR ligand-induced maturation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells was determined (particularly, the effect on expression of co-stimulatory markers was studied). Further, to confirm the finding of in-vitro studies, the effects of the in-vivo administration of hCG on anti-self reactivity were also assessed in mice. The study strongly suggests that in genetically predisposed individuals, hCG preferentially affects generation, proliferation, maturation and hence response of different cells of the immune system. Such modulations of the humoral autoimmune response during pregnancy could result in the exacerbation of systemic autoimmunity in these individuals.