View Full Version : Male DNA present in female brains

09-27-2012, 03:56 PM
The linkage between mother's and their sons is deeper than one thinks.


09-27-2012, 07:58 PM
Very interesting! The study is available for all here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0045592

This cited study from the same year is even better, but it's limited access: http://download.cell.com/trends/immunology/pdf/PIIS147149061200052X.pdf

I haven't been able to find the origin ofthese cells in the fetus/placenta, though. From what little I know of embryology, I would guess they're migrating syncytiotrophoblast cells from the placenta. Nevertheless, they seem to be pluripotent stem cells (although not necessarily totipotent), with the ability to differentiate into neurons as well as undergo hematopoiesis to form white blood cells. They've also differentiated into hepatocytes in the livers of mothers with Hepatitis C, steatosis, and biliary cirrhosis. Apparently, they even improve the mother's risk of recovery from a heart injury by differentiating into myocardium (via statistical analysis). It's further been supported by a mouse model study published just this year (free access): http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/110/1/82.long .

Fascinating stuff, Cofgene! Thanks for putting me onto it.